Member Spotlight


IGCS offers members the opportunity to share their stories with the greater gynecologic oncology community, inspire care givers around the world and strengthen awareness of the profession and society.

 

We want to hear your story!
Complete this brief online form to submit your story, or nominate another member that you think should be featured. Email debbie.leopold@igcs.org for assistance or more information.

 

View all the previous Member Spotlights below. You may also use the letter search to find someone specific by last name.

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Roberto AngioliCampus Bio Medico University of Rome Professional Title: Professor and Director of Gynecology Department

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.

Bruno BustosMedical Oncologist, Fernandez Hospital, Buenos Aires, Argentina

IGCS Member Since 2017

I am passionate about gynecological and breast tumors, because they are all different cases, no patient is the same as another. In the hospital, I am fortunate to be able to dedicate my practice solely to attending to patients with gynecological and breast tumors, every day of my life!

Allan CovensProfessor & 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.

Lynette DennyProfessor, University of Cape Town/Groote Schuur Hospital

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.

Joel Fokom DomgueDepartment of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University Hospital Centre, Yaounde, Cameroon

IGCS Member since 2014

As an African citizen, some of my family members who I cared a lot for have been pulled out of life, sometimes at a young age, due to poorly managed gynecological cancer.

As an African physician and clinical researcher, I quickly noticed the steadily increasing magnitude of gynecological malignancies in my clinical practice. Given the limitations of health systems in Cameroon as in most settings in sub-Saharan Africa, the majority of cancer patients have to be referred to tertiary level hospitals for proper management. However, very few patients can actually afford to visit these referral hospitals, because they are often from rural and remote settings, of low socio-economic level and disadvantaged backgrounds.

Moreover, I realized the little interest of physicians in sub-Sahara Africa for gynecology oncology. In fact, cancer patients often arrive at an advanced stage of the disease, when the management is difficult, costly, long, and multidisciplinary, often resulting in an uncertain outcome. In addition, the lack of chemotherapy, radiotherapy and palliative care services to accompany clinicians in the care of cancer patients in Africa does not arouse their enthusiasm for this specialty. Even those who have an interest in gynecologic oncology barely find locally an academic and clinical structure that offers such training. As far as I know, there is no practicing doctor in Cameroon to date, who is certified in oncology gynecology. Yet, the number of cancer patients in need of adequate care is constantly increasing.  All these factors have prompted me to take an interest in this promising specialty, with the goal of making my modest contribution to raising awareness about the burden of gynecologic cancers in Africa, to help in providing comprehensive care to women’s cancer patients in my country while ensuring the promotion of gynecologic oncology among doctors in Africa.

I work in a reference hospital in my country as a gynecologist and colposcopist. In this capacity, I practice my clinical activity in a unit of gynecology oncology where I take care of patients with gynecological cancers. Briefly, the first step of my work is to confirm the diagnosis, then to determine the stage of the disease, to set up a multidisciplinary care plan, to perform surgical treatment when indicated, or to send patients to other specialized departments (chemotherapy, radiotherapy, intensive care unit, etc…). As a colposcopist, I carry out colposcopic examinations especially in patients referred for abnormal cytology or VIA positive. In this way, I participate in the detection and management of precancerous lesions of the uterus cervix. The treatment options for cervical dysplasia available in my department include crotherapy, LEEP and hysterectomy.

My prevention activities are not confined to cervical cancer but include other gynecological cancers. For instance, clinical breast examination is practiced and breast self-examination is taught to women who consult for various reasons in the department of obstetrics and gynecology of the University Hospital Centre of Yaounde, Cameroon. In families considered to be at risk, genetic screening for breast or ovarian cancers is advised.

In addition, in collaboration with the National Cancer Control Committee of Cameroon, I regularly participate in the organization of awareness campaigns and screening and management campaigns for cervical and breast cancers in rural areas. I also participate in the reflection aimed at elaborating the national strategic plan for gynecological cancers control in my country.

As a clinical researcher, I have noticed that cervical cancer control strategies currently being promoted by WHO do not sufficiently take into account local demands and socio-cultural realities of developing countries. This has led me to get actively involved in research projects aimed at designing realistic and cost-effective strategies for cervical cancer screening and management that are suitable for resource-constrained settings, especially African countries. On the other hand, with the advent of vaccination against HPV, I have started collaborating with partner institutions including US National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), to work out how to contextualize vaccination approaches against HPV in Africa, in order to achieve maximum effectiveness while ensuring scale-up and sustainability of immunization programs.

Walter GotliebProfessor and Director of Surgical Oncology, McGill University - Jewish General Hospital

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.

Surbhi GroverUniversity of Pennsylvania

IGCS Member since 2014

Since medical school, I was interested in a career in global health. As I learned more about oncology and my interests in global health developed further, gynecological radiation oncology seemed to be the right fit due to the heavy burden of cervical cancer globally.


Since completing my training in 2014, I have been based full time in Botswana, in southern Africa. My work here entails running the largest public clinical oncology department, and focusing my clinical and academic work on women's cancers-gynecological and breast. Along with my local colleagues, I developed gynecological multi-disciplinary tumor board that allows us to provide streamlined and evidence based care to women around the country. Through this clinic, we have been able to to minimize delays in care and also develop a follow up care pathway for women with gynecological cancers. We hope to emulate this model for others common cancers in Botswana as well such as head and neck and breast.

Thomas HerzogDeputy Director University of Cincinnati Cancer Center

IGCS Member for more than 10 years

I pursued a career in gynecologic oncology because I was attracted to the opportunity to help women when the need is greatest through surgery and adjuvant therapies while helping to unravel the causes and newest treatments of cancers.

I am lucky to be able to wear multiple hats that include the roles of clinician, researcher, clinical trialist, patient advocate, and administrator. Needless to say these disparate roles cause endless scheduling difficulties but keep me rewardingly busy without burnout in any one concentrated area. I feel that the other roles actually make me a better physician as I am able to see the emerging ‘big picture” to the benefit of my patients. Helping lead the IGCS has been extremely rewarding as this responsibility is a mechanism to pay back to our field and move the field forward not only in the USA but throughout the world.

Rainer KimmigWest 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.

Olubanji OguntundeLagos University Teaching Hospital. Nigeria

IGCS Member since 2014

Endometrial and cervical cancers are amongst the leading cause of mortality and morbidity in Nigeria. My career choice of gynaecologic pathology is to be part of the mercenaries needed to help reduce this disease burden.

I am currently having a 3 month IGCS-sponsored fellowship at the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford University Hospitals NHS under the supervison of Dr Sanjiv Manek. I am being trained in the proper handling and pathologic reporting of gynae-oncology specimens. We hold regular multidisciplinary meetings on the oncology cases. The hospital, being one of the largest cervical cancer screening centres in the United Kingdom further affords me a huge learning opportunity in cytology. It's barely one month into the programme and the experience has been very rewarding. My special thanks to IGCS for making this a reality.

Elisa Orlandini S, MDGynecologic Oncologist, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile , Santiago, Chile

IGCS Member Since 2017

As a woman I can really relate to women's problems  and women's care. In my country, cervical cancer is the leading cause of death in women between 25 and 50 years old. Being able to help and to cure women with good quality surgery and adjuvant treatment is a life motivation for me.

I am staff member of the Gynecologic Oncology team, teaching medical students and gynecology residents. We also have 3 fellows of gynecology oncology who are greatly motivated to learn. We also divide our time on consults, visiting patients at the hospital and the OR as well as providing seminars and classes to students.

Michael QuinnProfessor, 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.

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