In This Video
- A question from a fellow ahead of an operation on a patient who had an early stage cervical cancer led to a study on surgical options
- The study showed that the minimally invasive approach for patients with cervical cancer is inferior and not safe, compared to the open surgery
- That data have now been quoted not only nationally, but internationally, and has become the way that we deliver cervical cancer operative treatment
- Marcela del Carmen, MD, discusses how clinical care led to research and ultimately informed surgical approaches to cervical cancer
In this video, Marcela del Carmen, MD, a gynecologic oncologist in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Massachusetts General Hospital, a clinician in the Center for Gynecologic Oncology in the Mass General Cancer Center, and chief medical officer of Massachusetts General Physicians Organization, discusses how clinical care led to research and ultimately informed surgical approaches to cervical cancer.
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I think the department has a culture where we are very much patient-centric, and out of that patient-centric perspective essentially evolved the mission of research education and community service. So I can give you an example of how clinical care ultimately led to research that not only changed the way that we treat patients at Mass General, but [also] the way that we actually inform treatment not only nationally but also globally.
Several years ago I was in the operating room with one of our fellows, and we were getting ready to do an operation on a patient who had an early-stage cervical cancer and the fellow asked me why we were doing the surgery open. My answer to the fellow was that we had no data to inform that the laparoscopic procedure, or the minimally invasive option, was actually safe in patients with cervical cancer, and that we have data that that surgery is safe for patients with endometrial cancer but not patients with cervical pathology. I basically invited him to do a study where we would actually collect those data to be able to make a decision based on solid evidence whether or not the minimally invasive approach for the management of cervical cancer patients was appropriate. He went ahead and did the study and that study led to publication in the New England Journal of Medicine that showed, in combination with a randomized clinical trial, that the minimally invasive approach for patients with cervical cancer is inferior and not safe, compared to the open surgery. That data has now been quoted not only nationally, but internationally, and will become the way that we deliver cervical cancer operative treatment.
Learn more about the Center for Gynecologic Oncology
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