Our pathologists are sub-specialized in identifying gynecologic malignancies. This expertise leads to more accurate diagnosis and staging, which forms the basis for your treatment.
Our gynecologic cancer pathologists are internationally recognized and consulted on the diagnosis of ovarian cancer. They participate in tumor board meetings, sharing information about each patient’s unique cancer with the entire treatment team to help guide care planning.
Our diagnostic experts are aided by advanced technologies including blood testing for the CA-125 ovarian tumor marker.
Standard and Novel Medical Treatments
Our patients have access to traditional and innovative treatment approaches including:
Intraperitoneal chemotherapy, which infuses medicine directly into the abdominal cavity to help improve outcomes and reduce side effects for women with advanced ovarian cancer
Cancer immunotherapy, which entails vaccinating women with their own modified tumor cells or immune stimulants to bolster the body’s response to cancer therapies
Therapies for drug-resistant tumors that help boost sensitivity to chemotherapy
Multidisciplinary Patient Care
Your personalized treatment plan will be developed by experts from an array of gynecologic cancer specialties. Depending on the stage and other characteristics of your cancer, this treatment plan may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, or a combination of these therapies.
The specialists involved in your care may include:
Medical Oncologists to prescribe the most effective chemotherapy treatments and discuss available clinical trials
Radiation Oncologists who specialize in delivering the highest therapeutic dose while protecting healthy tissue
Surgical Oncologists experienced in the latest minimally-invasive gynecologic surgery approaches
Oncology nurses and nurse practitioners who specialize in cancer care
Pathologists specializing in gynecologic cancers who provide a precise diagnosis of your cancer
Radiologists specializing in gynecologic malignancies that help guide the selection of appropriate imaging tests and provide accurate interpretation
Oncology psychiatrists and social workers experienced in helping with the cognitive side effects of cancer and treatment, as well the emotional and spiritual aspects of the cancer experience
A nutritionist to help you with questions about diet and nutrition during treatment
Palliative care providers to improve quality of life
Excellence in Surgical Care
Our gynecologic oncology surgeons are experienced in treatment of rare and common cancers and are recognized leaders in their fields. Research has shown that surgeons performing higher volumes of particular procedures offer patients better outcomes. Studies also confirm that ovarian cancer patients initially treated by gynecologic oncologists have improved survival rates compared to those treated by general gynecologists or general surgeons.
Depending on the location and stage of your cancer, your care team may recommend:
Cytoreductive surgery techniques that permit the complete or near complete removal of all cancerous tissue safely and effectively, which studies have found offers women with advanced ovarian cancer the best prognosis (outlook)
Minimally invasive robotic assisted surgery
Laparoscopic surgical techniques
Comprehensive lymph node dissection to detect microscopic disease that otherwise might escape detection by imaging tests
The Center for Outcomes & Patient Safety in Surgery (COMPASS) ensures that data related to obstetric care and treatment of conditions of the ovaries & uterus is transparent and accessible for patients as they make important health decisions.
In this video, learn about performance data for Mass General obstetric and gynecologic care.
Pioneering Radiation Therapies
Our specialized radiation teams offer a full spectrum of computer-controlled internal and external radiation treatments for ovarian cancer.
Clinical trials are research studies of new drugs, new combinations of drugs or already approved drugs being studied to treat patients in new and different ways. They may include new drug doses or new ways (schedules) to give the drugs. Clinical trials are run under strict guidelines. Their purpose is to help find out whether new cancer treatments are safe and effective or better than the standard (current) treatment.
Cancer is increasingly becoming a disease in which the genetic make-up of each individual cancer drives therapy. The Center for Gynecologic Oncology also has access to clinical trials involving these targeted therapy approaches.
The ovaries are female reproductive organs located in the pelvis. Cancer that begins in the tissues of an ovary is called ovarian cancer. There are three main types of ovarian cancer: epithelial ovarian cancer, germ cell cancer and stromal cell cancer. Each is named for the tissue in which the tumor (abnormal growth) starts.
Ovarian cancer is rare, but did you know that it can run in families? In this presentation from June 16, 2022, Janette Lawrence, MS, CGC, gives an overview of hereditary ovarian cancer and what you can do if it runs in your family.
The Story Project
The Story Project is our effort to capture the stories from the people in our Mass General Cancer Center community.