Skip directly to content

Physician Education: Cancer

Insight Into the Genetics of Head and Neck Cancer

Researchers at UPMC are investigating the characteristics of gene mutations in head and neck tumors and are using this information to identify genetic subsets in order to target treatments and guide therapeutic decisions.

A Primer on Pertuzumab

Shannon Puhalla, MD, a breast cancer oncologist at UPMC discusses why Pertuzumab may be a practice changing drug and should be incorporated in oncologists’ standard of care.

Multidisciplinary Thyroid Center - An Innovative Approach to Diagnosis and Care

Doctors at UPMC believe that thyroid cancer care is improved when delivered in a multidisciplinary setting. Here, patients have access to a variety of medical experts and a complete array of diagnostic tools in real time, under one roof, and often in a single visit. Dr. Steven Hodak, co-director of UPMC's Multidisciplinary Thyroid Center, explains how specialists at this center diagnose and treat a large volume of thyroid cancer cases each year, and develop a custom treatment plan using advanced tools and procedures such as molecular diagnostic testing and scarless robotic thyroidectomy.

Whipple Procedure for Pancreatic Surgery

For patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, surgery is often the best treatment option. In just the last few years, robotics is making this surgery, known as a pancreaticoduodenectomy or Whipple, less invasive for those diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

Radiosurgery Treatments and Technology

Radiation oncologists and neurosurgeons at UPMC believe the best care for patients diagnosed with tumors of the brain and spine is care that is delivered in a multidisciplinary setting, in which physicians work as partners. Treatment often includes stereotactic radiosurgery using technology such as the Gamma Knife and LINAC-based platforms such as the Cyberknife, Trilogy, and True Beam. Drs. Dwight Heron and Arlan Mintz explain how this unique combination of radiosurgical tools and unprecedented access to physicians assures patients of innovative, comprehensive care.

Using Gene Therapy to Prevent Esophagitis in Lung Cancer Patients

Using chemotherapy and radiation to treat non-small cell lung cancer is one of the most significant advancements in oncology over the last 30 years. But there are some potentially debilitating side effects to these therapies, including esophagitis. Dr. Joel Greenberger, co-director of the lung and esophageal cancer program at the UPMC Cancer Centers explains how doctors have developed a new treatment that protects the esophagus from the damaging effects of radiation and chemotherapy, without protecting the cancer.

Advances in Immunotherapy for the Treatment of Metastatic Melanoma

It used to be that patients diagnosed with advanced melanoma had few treatment options and little hope for a cure. But that is changing, thanks in part to immunotherapy drugs such as Interferon, Interleukin 2, and a new drug called Ipilimumab. Dr. John Kirkwood, director of the Melanoma Program at UPMC Cancer Center, says these immunotherapeutic agents give patients diagnosed with advanced melanoma promise for a reduction in recurrence and in some cases, remission.

HIPEC Shows Promise for Treatment of Abdominal Cancers

David Bartlett, MD, vice chairman for surgical oncology and gastrointestinal services at UPMC, discusses HIPEC as an approach that may improve the long term survival of patients diagnosed with abdominal cancers when used in conjunction with other cancer therapies.

Molecular Testing May Change Course of Treatment of Non-Squamous, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Mark Socinski, MD, reviews molecular testing in non-squamous, non-small cell lung cancer patients and discusses why this may be a paradigm shift in treating this form of cancer.