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Department of gynecologic oncology

The Department of Gynecologic Oncology of the N.N. Petrov National Medical Research Center of Oncology offers combination and multimodal treatment to patients with malignant neoplasms of the vulva, vagina, uterus, ovaries and cervix, and treats gynecologic cancers using minimally invasive surgery.

The Department’s commitment to follow the current medical standards allows it to provide high quality care to patients and to minimally reduce the number of diagnostic errors.

The combination of the state-of-the-art equipment designed for diagnosis and treatment of gynecologic cancers and the professionalism of the Department’s specialists who use this equipment makes it possible to tackle the complex issues that were once deemed insurmountable.

The use of endovideosurgical technologies – hysteroscopy, or laparoscopic-assisted hysterectomy with pelvic lymphadenectomy or for endometriosis – allows to minimize surgery-related trauma and pain, and has other benefits, such as shorter healing time, less scarring and better cosmetic results. From 2010 to 2015, the Department performed 1,199 laparoscopic-assisted surgeries using endoscopes manufactured by KARL STORZ, of which 1,113 surgeries were performed for endometrial cancer, 86 surgeries were performed for cervical cancer and 64 surgeries were performed for ovarian cancer.

When clinically indicated, the Department also performs vaginal and open surgeries.

Treatment modalities and techniques:

  • laparoscopic-assisted surgeries – the Department performs all types of laparoscopic-assisted gynecologic surgeries, including surgeries for gynecological cancers;
  • hysteroscopy and intrauterine surgical intervention, using hysteroscopes that are 3 and 4 mm in diameter;
  • vaginal surgeries;
  • a variety of surgical energies which allow to achieve haemostasis at a suitable level during surgeries and minimize surgical trauma and the risk of inadvertent injury to adjacent organs;
  • adhesion barriers;
  • multimedia integrated operating rooms, offering such features as video recording of surgeries, live surgeries, teleconferences, etc.

All specialists of the Department have advanced academic degrees and extensive clinical experience. The specialists of the Department not only offer care to patients and perform surgeries, but also teach medical students and young specialists, and carry out research, which enables them to use the latest internationally-recognized approaches to diagnosis and treatment of gynecological pathologies in their clinical practice.

The Department has a simulation training center offering gynecological surgery courses which provide the skills required for good progress in clinical laparoscopic practice at the level of leading training centers of Germany and France.

The physicians of the Department routinely undergo refresher courses in clinics in Clermont-Ferrand and Strasbourg (France) and Berlin (Germany), with which the Center has managed to establish successful partnerships.

Types of gynecologic cancers:

Cervical cancer may be detected using visual inspection methods; however it is still quite difficult to diagnose. Human papillomavirus infection causes the majority of cervical cancer cases; other risk factors include a failure to undergo a routine annual screening procedure for cervical cancer and having many sexual partners. As a rule, cervical cancer is diagnosed when it is in stages II-IV, that is when it is locally advanced. If cervical cancer has been detected early, organ preservation treatment may still be an option. Also, the Department performs minimally invasive nerve-sparing surgeries which are recommended for selected cases of cervical cancer.

The Department uses a patient-centered approach to treat locally advanced cervical cancer. Treatment may start with a course of chemotherapy or radiation therapy. After treatment patients are monitored by an oncologist at their local outpatient clinics and have regular checkup appointments with oncologists at the Center.

Endometrial cancer is a cancer that arises from the endometrium, which is the lining of the uterus. Endometrial cancer occurs most commonly after menopause. The symptoms include sudden or continuous vaginal bleeding, sometimes heavy, not associated with a menstrual period. Endometrial cancer is diagnosed by ultrasound of the lesser pelvis and endometrial biopsy. Patients who have high blood pressure, diabetes, low tolerance to carbohydrates and obesity are at a higher risk of developing endometrial cancer.

Ovarian cancer. Selection of the best treatment plan always requires a test for BRCA-1 and BRCA-2 genetic mutations. These genes protect you from getting certain cancers. Mutations in these genes are associated with a risk of ovarian cancer, breast cancer and other cancers. Testing for BRCA-1 and BRCA-2 requires a venous blood sample or a tumor tissue sample. If BRCA-1 and BRCA-2 gene mutations have been identified in a patient, their blood relatives (18 and older) should also undergo the test. It is important to realize that not all people carrying mutations in BRCA-1 and BRCA-2 will develop cancer at some point, but they are at a much higher risk of cancer than people who do not have these mutations. That is why, the Department employs a complex of preventive activities which involve periodic screenings and consultation services that may help to establish a necessity for a preventive surgery.

The Department is headed by Professor Igor V. Berlev, D.Sc., Head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology of the I.I. Mechnikov North-Western State Medical University.

Dr Adel F. Urmancheeva, D.Sc., Leading Researcher at the Department of Gynecologic Oncology of the Center, Professor at the Oncology Department of the I.I. Mechnikov North-Western State Medical University

Dr Elena V. Bakhidze, D.Sc., Leading Researcher at the Department of Gynecologic Oncology of the Center, Docent at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology of the I.I. Mechnikov North-Western State Medical University

Dr Elena A. Ulrikh, D.Sc. (Medicine)

Physicians of the Department:


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