Member Spotlight Archive
Professor, Royal Women’s Hospital Melbourne
IGCS Member since it’s founding in 1985
Early in my career, I looked after a young woman with a malignant GCT misdiagnosed initially as a benign dermoid. She died within 3 months of recurrence aged 19 and this event had a profound effect on me and the trajectory of my career.
I have just retired from active patient care after 35 years as a gyn oncologist. I have been passionate about multidisciplinary care since being trained by Dr. Robert Fraser in Halifax, Canada. I believe the care of women with cancer involves three pillars…the best team, the best accommodation and the best research. I have been active in fundraising for many years and have personally raised over $1 million running marathons, climbing mountains and doing long distance bike riding. I have been lucky enough to chair many international committees which deal in research and patient outcomes. As the current President of IGCS, I am looking forward immensely to growing our education portfolio internationally and facilitating the training and certification of young doctors from LMICs.
Gynecologic Oncologist & Assistant Professor, The Ohio State University, USA
IGCS Member since 2005
I decided to pursue a career in gynecologic oncology as it provides the opportunity to provide comprehensive care to women with gynecologic malignancies and many avenues for research collaborations. Though I enjoy all aspects of the field, my main area of interests are in survivorship and surveillance for women with gynecologic cancer.
Furthermore, I serve as the our program’s fellowship director and am on the IGCS education committee. The opportunity to participate in the education of our members, trainees, and patients has been a rewarding experience and I look forward to future challenges.
West German Cancer Center, Dpt. of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany
IGCS Member since 2012
I decided to pursue a career in gynecologic oncology to be allowed to combine high surgical skills with intimate knowledge of anatomy and tumor progression to cure as many women as possible with the least possible damage. I am also enthusiastic about well indicated drug, irradiation and psychological therapy. My main goal at present, however, is to help others in education of oncological surgery and to do research on possible future surgical strategies.
In daily work, I am responsible for the field of gynecologic oncology at the West German Cancer Center and the Rich Interdisciplinary Network. With respect to surgical oncology, we not only founded a “School of Robotic Surgery” but also the “Center for Ontogenetically Based Surgical Oncology.” In the past 6 years I have been very active in promoting education in ESGO, building up “e-academy” as Head of the Educational Board and Vice President. I am extremely happy to have been elected as a member of the IGCS Council from 206-2020 to engage in global education in IGCS for the coming years, which is positioned extremely well with the Education Committee lead by Kathleen Schmeler.
Professor & Chair, Gynecologic Oncology, University of Toronto
IGCS Member since 1990
I decided to pursue a career in gynecologic oncology because it is a fascinating specialty with so much study and research. Every patient is unique and there are many unmet needs and challenges in the specialty.
My day to day activities include mentorship of junior faculty and fellows and I take pleasure from their successes. I continually push the boundaries of our specialty, questioning what we do and why. A driving force in my practice is to constantly examine if there is something better that we could or should be doing to for our patients by exploring new options in surgery and the management of malignancies.
IGCS Member since 1992
I decided to pursue a career in gynecologic oncology because it is a specialty with a genuinely caring prolonged intimate human interaction, extending over multiple facets of state of the art medicine.
My day to day activities consist of a blend of providing care and teaching in the clinic, the ward and the OR, mixed with bench to bedside translational and clinical research, influencing and innovating the practice of our specialty in the present while placing the seeds for the future.
IGCS Member since 1998
I decided to pursue a career in gynecologic oncology because I was drawn to the inequity of access and quality of care of women with gynaecological cancer between low, middle and high income countries and to look for pragmatic and realistic ways if preventing cervical cancer among women in developing countries.
I run large community based awareness, early detection and prevention programmes, I teach at both under and postgraduate level, supervise masters and PhD students and contribute to providing a large mulitidisciplinary clinical service to women with gynaecological cancer.
IGCS Member since 1997
My devotion to gynecologic oncology is a lifelong commitment. I chose to pursue a career in this specialty because it allows for intimate human interaction, and is a perfect link between medical and surgical aspects.
I would like to focus on providing young professionals with more opportunities for education and training and I intend to give a strong emphasis on the holistic care and quality of life of women with gynecological cancer, giving greater attention to spiritual, psycho-social and sexual health and other consequences of female cancer. I would also like eliminate barriers between developed and developing countries and minimizing large therapeutic gaps so that all women could receive optimal treatment, regardless of their origin or their social status.
IGCS Member since 2015
I decided to pursue a career in gynecologic oncology because there was a need for a diagnostic gynecologic pathology specialist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Having had rigorous training in that area during my residency, I decided to apply for that position. Superb collaborations with gynecologic and medical oncologists at our Center convinced me I had made the right decision.
I spend about 1/3 of my time in diagnostic gynecologic pathology, working one-on-one with pathology trainees and discussing results with our clinical colleagues. Most of our work derives from patients at our Center, but we also handle a good number of diagnostic second opinions. Another 1/3 of my time is spent doing collaborative gynecologic oncologic research, ranging from simple, retrospective and observational studies that bridge clinical medicine and pathology to projects involving the use of sophisticated molecular technologies. The remainder of my time is spent in departmental administration. Currently, our research focuses on risk stratification for patients with endometrial cancer, clinicopathological classification of endocervical adenocarcinoma and uterine mesenchymal tumors, the Fallopian tube’s role in ovarian carcinogenesis and genotype-phenotype-clinical correlations of heritable gynecologic cancer syndromes.
Mauricio Magalhães Costa
I decided to pursue a career in gynecologic oncology because gynecological cancer is a public health problem in low- and middle-income countries, especially in Latin America. Developing programs of prevention and early detection is a very important mission and all gynecologists should be prepared to promote it in their communities. From the beginning of my career I felt the importance of this work and started to participate in public campaigns in the Amazon region, slums in Rio de Janeiro and finally as a Professor in the University.
I trained in Radiumhemmet, Sweden with Prof. Nina Einhorn from 1983-1984 and I have served as Head of the Gynecologic Oncology Division at the University Hospital in Rio since 1987. I have been active for 30 years in the fight against women cancer, through academic participation, editorials, social media, event organization, member of boards of directors, specialized committee and executive positions in medical societies and NGOs, locally, nationally in Latin American globally. I intend to use these tools to spread knowledge and improve health care in gynecology oncology.
Nadeem R. Abu-Rustum
I decided to pursue a career in gynecologic oncology to cure gynecologic cancers with the most precise and novel treatment strategies, while minimizing side effects and promoting the highest quality of life to our patients. As Chief of the Gynecologic Oncology Service in the Department of Surgery at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, where I also serve as Vice-Chair for Technology Development and heavily involved on a daily basis with clinical and research activities related to gynecologic oncology. Additionally, as the Avon Chair in Gynecologic Oncology and Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Weill Cornell Medical College I work very closely with all members of our disease management team to promote the highest quality of clinical care and research. My clinical research focuses on surgical therapy for gynecologic cancers and innovative surgical approaches, including sentinel node mapping, improved localization of tumors, fertility-sparing surgery, and laparoscopy. In my current role at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, I am actively involved in the development and improvement of minimally invasive techniques and oversee surgical research programs. I served as a member of the Gynecologic Oncology Group Cervix Committee and the American College of Surgeons Committee on Emerging Surgical Technology and Education. I have authored or co-authored more than 200 publications and is co-author to numerous book chapters and three textbooks in gynecologic oncology. As vice-chair of the NCCN Cervical/Uterine/Vulva Cancers Panel I am actively involved in the development on national guidelines in gynecologic oncology.
IGCS Member since 1996
It strikes me that cancer causes enormous human damage. On the other hand, I am acutely aware that not only cancer but also cancer treatment causes enormous damage and harm to patients. The cost of survival sometimes is very high and this is especially pronounced in surgical oncology, such as in our specialty. My mission is to make the world of surgery more gentle and kinder while not compromising effectiveness. Our speciality is ideally positioned to help women who often don’t demand help for themselves.
I work as a clinician, gynaecological cancer surgeon in the Australia public hospital system and I also established an active private practice where patients specifically ask to see me. I also run a research unit and we have always focused on clinical trials because trials generate research knowledge that can be implemented into clinical practice and translated into real clinical outcomes straight away. I am the driver of clinical trials that established evidence for treatments that reduce some of the suffering from gynaecological cancer. The Cherish Women’s Cancer Foundation, which I co-founded, raises some of the funds that are required to run these clinical trials and the research work that is required to prepare for clinical trials. I also established SurgicalPerformance.com. As gynaecological surgeons we are most of the times convinced that we do an awesome job most of the times. When complications develop we feel down and believe we have done an awful job. SurgicalPerformance allows us to assess our surgical performance rationally and in confidence.
IGCS Member since 1997
I became a medical oncologist because I found tumor biology and the development of new treatments for cancer fascinating. When I was hired, the gynecologic oncologists needed a medical oncology liaison to be able to join the Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG), and I loved working with patients with these tumor types. I also see breast cancer patients. I see patients with breast cancer and gyn malignancies in clinic and work closely with our developmental therapeutics group; much of my practice is devoted to developing and running clinical trials, from early to late stage. I chair the elderly working group (devoted to improving therapy for older patients) in the NRG. I direct the protocol office for the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology.