Surgical Oncology

Louisville Surgical Oncology

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with cancer that may require surgery, you need an experienced, compassionate surgical oncologist who can offer you the best treatment options available. You need someone who has trained at the best cancer centers in the world and dedicated his or her life to staying at the forefront of cancer care.

At UofL Physicians-Surgical Oncology, formerly known as University Surgical Associates (USA), our surgical oncologists have trained in the world’s foremost universities and cancer centers: M.D. Anderson, Memorial Sloan-Kettering, and the Mayo Clinic. We went there so you won’t have to. 

Not only have we trained at the top cancer institutions in the world, we continue to stay at the forefront of cancer treatment and have made significant contributions to the field on a regional, national and international level.

All of our surgical oncologists are in the Division of Surgical Oncology in the University of Louisville Department of Surgery -- one of the top programs in the country.  We are professors of surgery who remain at the forefront of our field so we can teach the next generation of surgeons.

We are actively involved in research to find better ways to diagnosis and treat cancer. Patients in the Southeast and Midwest benefit from the results we achieve in our research and often are afforded the latest, most innovative treatments available. We actively design and conduct research trials that help to change the way doctors treat cancer.

UofL Physicians-Surgical Oncology also has established multidisciplinary programs for breast cancer, melanoma, liver, pancreas, gastric and esophageal cancers, bile duct tumors, sarcoma and endocrine tumors to provide the best possible patient care.  

UofL Physicians-Surgical Oncology offers more than the best technical surgery in the region, we also provide thoughtful, compassionate care that considers the biology of the disease, as well as the overall needs of the individual patient. Treatment decisions are made in conjunction with multidisciplinary teams of experts. In fact, our peers consistently rate our surgical oncologists “Top Docs.”

All of this adds up to a group of surgeons who have attained international prominence while providing the highest level of patient care, innovative research and outstanding educational programs that have improved the level of cancer care in our region.

Find a Louisville Surgical Oncologist by viewing the Our Physicians tab.

To make an appointment with UofL Physicians - Surgical Oncology, call 502-583-8303.

Surgical Oncologists Louisville

  • Adrenal tumors
  • Adenocarcinomas (a type of cancer that develops in cells lining glandular types of internal organs)
  • Appendix cancer (appendiceal carcinoma)
  • Benign tumor of glandular origin (adenoma)
  • Benign tumors of the liver (adenomas, cysts, focal nodular hyperplasia)
  • Bile duct injuries
  • Bile duct tumors
  • Breast cancer (including DCIS, LCIS, ductal carcinoma, lobular carcinoma, phyllodes tumors, apocrine carcinoma and tubular carcinoma)
  • Cancer of the bile ducts (cholangiocarcinoma)
  • Cancer that develops in the hair follicles or beneath the skin (merkel cell carcinoma)
  • Chordoma
  • Colon cancer
  • Cysts
  • Eccrine carcinoma
  • Endocrine tumors
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Gastric cancer (cancer of the stomach)
  • Hyperparathyroidism
  • Intestinal cancer
  • Liver cancer (including Metastatic Colon Cancer, hepatocellular cancer, cholangiocarcinoma, and gallbladder cancer)
  • Liver tumors (including hemagioma, adenoma, and focal nodular hyperplasia)
  • Melanoma (including in-transit melanoma)
  • Neuroendocrine cancer and tumors
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Pancreatitis
  • Parathyroid cancer
  • Parathyroid tumors
  • Pseudomyxoma Partioneii
  • Renal cancer
  • Sarcoma, which are tumors of bone and soft tissue (including dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans [DFSP], chondrosarcoma, liposarcoma, malignant fibrous histiocytoma [MFH], Carcinosarcoma, Leiomyosarcoma, angiosarcoma, Rhabdomyosarcoma and fibrosarcoma)
  • Skin cancer
  • Thyroid cancer (including papillary cancer, anaplastic thyroid cancer and medullary cancer)
  • Thyroid tumors
  • Zollinger-Ellison syndrome

To make an appointment with UofL Physicians - Surgical Oncology, call 502-583-8303.

Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer among women and the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths. Great strides have been made in diagnosis and treatment in the past two decades through clinical trials. Breast cancer surgery continues to evolve. It was less than half a century ago when a radical mastectomy was the only option for women with breast cancer. With continued research and innovation, however, much has changed and results continue to improve.

With the adoption of screening mammography and increased public awareness, many women now find breast cancer in its earliest stages, often before it becomes invasive. Patients may now have minimally invasive biopsies done with a needle under local anesthetic. These biopsies are precise, often targeting the lesion in question using either mammographic (stereotactic) or ultrasound guidance. Women have numerous options for the surgical management of breast cancer – from breast-conserving surgery to skin- and occasionally nipple-sparing mastectomy with immediate reconstruction.

UofL Physicians-Surgical Oncology is dedicated to helping our patients make informed decisions. We understand that there can be tremendous confusion and anxiety among newly diagnosed breast cancer patients. With multiple treatment options available, it can be difficult to navigate through a confusing maze of specialists and advice. Working with our colleagues in medical and radiation oncology at the James Graham Brown Cancer Center, we focus on the needs of each patient and simplify the process.

Learn more about breast cancer care at UofL James Graham Brown Cancer Center.

We offer the following for the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer:

  • Partial mastectomy/lumpectomy
  • Needle localized breast biopsy
  • Conventional, skin-sparing, nipple-sparing and areola-sparing mastectomy
  • Sentinel node biopsy
  • Axillary dissection, which involves looking at the axillary lymph nodes for signs of cancer spread.
  • Breast ultrasound
  • Ultrasound-guided, mammotome and stereotactic core needle breast biopsies
  • Mammosite (balloon radiation)
  • Microductectomy
  • Infusaport placements and removals

Colon Cancer

Cancer of the large intestine (colon and rectum) is an aggressive cancer that may be associated with difficulty having bowel movements, bleeding, bloating, and pain. It requires a coordinated treatment plan that includes surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. It is very important that the proper lymph node surgery be combined with the colon or rectal surgery. Many patients with rectal cancer need preoperative (before surgery) chemotherapy and radiation. Many patients may be able to avoid a permanent colostomy with the properly coordinated treatments.

Metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) is a common and deadly disease that until recently had few effective treatment options. The past decade has ushered in several exciting advances in the fight against mCRC. UofL Physicians-Surgical Oncology is using many of these discoveries. For example, we were the first to optimize the use of commination chemotherapy and drug eluting beads in metastatic colorectal cancer. It involves microscopic beads delivering chemotherapy right to the tumor. They are injected through that catheter directly into the tumor. Up until now, these tumors were highly resistant to this particular drug, but when delivered in this fashion, it’s extremely effective. The beads can be used alone but depending on the size of the tumor, it can be more effective when combined with other therapies. There are several benefits to using the microscopic beads loaded with chemotherapy. One is it is less toxic, meaning fewer side affects for patients. The other is it is also less invasive because it’s an outpatient procedure. It is designed for patients with a high risk for surgery and for those which surgery would not be of any benefit.

We offer the following for the diagnosis and treatment of colon cancer:

  • Resection (surgery) of the colon and rectum
  • Extended lymph node dissection
  • Laparoscopic surgery, including laparoscopic liver resection and ablation
  • Very-low anterior resection/coloanal resection (removal of very low rectal cancers with preservation of the anal muscle function and avoidance of a permanent colostomy)
  • Pelvic exenteration for very advanced or recurrent rectal cancer

Endocrine Tumors

Endocrine tumors are not very common, but they can cause problems for a patient by making hormones that affect the body in a negative way. In addition, endocrine tumors can be malignant (cancerous) and can spread to lymph nodes or other locations. Some endocrine tumors tend to occur together and run in families. Early diagnosis and treatment can prevent the spread of cancer or the negative effects of hormones on the body and can sometimes lead to the early diagnosis and treatment of other family members. For this reason, a tumor of the thyroid, parathyroid or adrenal glands should be fully evaluated by a surgeon with experience in the area of endocrine tumors. UofL Physicians-Surgical Oncology has three specially trained endocrine surgeons. In addition to traditional surgery, minimally invasive surgery is often possible.

Endocrine Tumors of the Thyroid Glands

The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped gland located in the front of the neck just above the collarbones. The thyroid gland makes hormones that regulate the body’s metabolism. Many people have nodules, or growths, in the thyroid gland. A thyroid nodule can be discovered if a person notices a lump in the neck, or if a doctor feels a lump in the thyroid during a routine physical exam. Thyroid nodules usually are evaluated with an ultrasound and a biopsy using a fine needle. Most thyroid nodules are benign. Surgery can be performed if a benign nodule causes symptoms.

Hoarseness, pain, or difficulty with swallowing or breathing can result from the nodule pressing on other structures in the neck. Anxiety, insomnia, tremor, weight loss, and heart palpitations can result if a thyroid nodule produces too much thyroid hormone. Some thyroid nodules are cancerous, and surgery is usually the first treatment. Lymph nodes may need to be removed at the time of surgery.

Other therapies, such as radioactive iodine, may be necessary after surgery. A certain type of thyroid cancer (medullary thyroid cancer) occasionally can run in families. The prognosis for thyroid cancer is often excellent if it is diagnosed early and the appropriate treatment is given. Therefore, it is important to have a surgeon with experience in thyroid surgery. A tumor of the thyroid, parathyroid, or adrenal glands should be fully evaluated by a surgeon with experience in the area of endocrine tumors. UofL Physicians-Surgical Oncology has three specially trained endocrine surgeons.

Endocrine Tumors of the Parathyroid Glands

The parathyroid glands are tiny pea-sized glands located behind the thyroid in the neck. Most people have four parathyroid glands, although the number and location of parathyroid glands can vary considerably from person to person.

The parathyroid glands make a hormone called “parathyroid hormone,” which regulates the level of calcium in the blood. When one or more parathyroid glands enlarge or develop a growth, too much parathyroid hormone is produced and the calcium level in the blood becomes too high. This is called hyperparathyroidism. Hyperparathyroidism can cause kidney stones, osteoporosis, stomach ulcers, and pancreatitis. It also can cause other symptoms such as fatigue, body aches, sleep problems, and depression.

Hyperparathyroidism occasionally can run in families. Surgery is the only treatment that can provide a cure. Because the parathyroid glands are often difficult to find, specialized imaging studies are usually necessary before surgery, and it is important to have a surgeon with experience in parathyroid surgery. UofL Physicians-Surgical Oncology has three highly skilled, experienced parathyroid surgeons.

Endocrine Tumors of the Adrenal Glands

The adrenal glands are triangular-shaped glands that lie on top of each kidney. The adrenal glands make a number of different hormones that are necessary for the body to function properly. For example, the adrenal glands produce cortisol and aldosterone, which are steroids that help the body regulate blood pressure and the levels of salt and potassium in the blood. The adrenal glands also produce adrenaline and other related substances that give the body strength, speed, and alertness, especially during an emergency.

Small tumors in the adrenal glands may not cause symptoms and often are discovered when a patient undergoes an imaging study of the abdomen (such as a CT scan or MRI) for another unrelated reason. Other tumors are discovered because they produce too much of a particular hormone. If too much cortisol is produced, a patient may experience thin skin that bruises easily, purplish stretch marks on the abdomen, fatigue and excess fat over the upper back, around the abdomen and in the face. If too much aldosterone is produced, a patient may experience high blood pressure, fluid retention, low potassium levels and weakness. If too much adrenaline is produced, a patient may experience high blood pressure, sweating, headaches, rapid or irregular heartbeat, anxiety or panic, spells of paleness or dizziness, tremors and weight loss.

Surgery to remove the adrenal gland is necessary if too much of a hormone is being produced. Surgery also may be necessary to determine if a tumor in the adrenal gland is cancerous. Although adrenal cancer is very rare, it is often aggressive and requires a coordinated treatment plan that may include surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. It is important a surgeon with experience in adrenal surgery evaluate any tumor of the adrenal gland. A tumor of the thyroid, parathyroid or adrenal glands should be fully evaluated by a surgeon with experience in the area of endocrine tumors. UofL Physicians-Surgical Oncology has three specially trained endocrine surgeons.

Esophageal Cancer

Cancer of the esophagus is an aggressive cancer that may be associated with difficulty eating, swallowing and pain. It requires a coordinated treatment plan that includes surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. It is very important that the proper lymph node dissection (surgery) is combined with the surgery, and that proper timing of the radiation, chemotherapy and surgical therapy be done by doctors that frequently treat esophageal cancer. UofL Physicians-Surgical Oncology has highly skilled, experienced surgical oncologists who frequently treat esophageal cancer. We offer the following for the diagnosis and treatment of esophageal cancer:

  • Esophagogastrectomy (removal of the end of the esophagus and the first part of the stomach)
  • Extended lymph node dissection
  • Preoperative (before surgery) chemotherapy and radiation
  • Laparoscopic esophageal and gastric resections
  • Endoscopic management of Barrett’s Esophagus
  • Endoscopic management of benign and malignant strictures

Gastric / Stomach Cancer

Cancer of the stomach (gastric cancer) is an aggressive cancer that may be associated with difficulty eating and abdominal pain. It often requires a coordinated treatment plan that includes surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. It is very important that the proper lymph node surgery be combined with the stomach surgery. We offer the following for the diagnosis and treatment of gastric cancer:

  • Total and subtotal gastrectomy (removal of the diseased stomach)
  • Extended lymph node dissection
  • Esophagogastrectomy (removal of the end of the esophagus and the first part of the stomach)

Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors (GIST)

Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors (GIST) are aggressive cancers that may be associated with swelling, difficulty eating, bloating, bleeding and pain. GIST are uncommon and often require a coordinated treatment plan that includes surgery and chemotherapy. It is very important that the proper surgery be performed. We offer the following for the diagnosis and treatment of GIST:

  • Resection (surgery) of GIST
  • Laparoscopic surgery

Peritoneal Surface Cancer & Pseudomyxoma Peritoneii

Cancer of the peritoneal surface (from the appendix, colon or the lining of the abdominal cavity) and pseudomyxoma peritoneii (a mucus producing tumor of the appendix that causes large amounts of mucus to collect in the abdomen) are complex diseases that are best treated with aggressive removal of the tumor and heated chemotherapy delivered into the abdomen in the operating room. We offer the following for the diagnosis and treatment of Peritoneal Surface Cancer & Pseudomyxoma Peritoneii:

  • Resection (surgery) of the tumor
  • Intraoperative chemotherapy (HIPEC)

Intestine Cancer

Cancer of the intestine (small intestine) is an aggressive cancer that may be associated with difficulty eating, bloating and pain. It requires a coordinated treatment plan that includes surgery and sometimes chemotherapy. It is very important that the proper lymph node surgery be combined with the surgery. We offer the following for the diagnosis and treatment of intestine cancer:

  • Resection (surgery) of the intestine
  • Extended lymph node dissection

Liver Cancer

Liver cancer is a malignant tumor that may cause jaundice (yellow skin and eyes), pain, weight loss or remain asymptomatic. It has a very aggressive growth pattern and must be treated by experienced physicians. Liver cancer requires a coordinated treatment plan that sometimes includes surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Many liver cancers spread from the liver (colon is the most common) or arise (start) from the liver, including hepatocellular carcinoma, gallbladder and cholangiocarcinoma.

UofL Physicians-Surgical Oncology has been on the forefront of pioneering new treatment options for patients with liver cancer. We were the first to optimize the use of commination chemotherapy and drug eluting beads in metastatic liver cancer. It involves microscopic beads delivering chemotherapy right to the tumor. They are injected through that catheter directly into the tumor. Up until now, these tumors were highly resistant to this particular drug, but when delivered in this fashion, it’s extremely effective. The beads can be used alone but depending on the size of the tumor, it can be more effective when combined with other therapies. There are several benefits to using the microscopic beads loaded with chemotherapy. One is it is less toxic, meaning fewer side affects for patients. The other is it is also less invasive because it’s an outpatient procedure. It is designed for patients with a high risk for surgery and for those which surgery would not be of any benefit.

An exciting new treatment technique that is being studied by our surgeons is minimally invasive liver resection. Resection of malignant liver tumors is the most effective treatment available. UofL Physicians -Surgical Oncology possesses the experience and knowledge that is critical to successful liver resection. We have performed many liver resections and have special interest in laparoscopic (minimally invasive) liver resection. In fact, our surgical oncologists are leading the effort to study laparoscopic liver resection for cancer on a national level. This minimally invasive technique may allow many patients with malignant liver tumors to receive the most effective treatment available (liver resection) while minimizing pain and recovery time. We are delighted to offer this treatment to our patients.

We offer the following for the diagnosis and treatment of liver cancer:

  • Radiofrequency ablation,* microwave ablation,* and Irreversible Electroporation of liver tumors
  • Irreversible electroporation of liver tumors (uses small electrical impulses to kill the tumor while preserving normal liver tissue structure)
  • Liver resection*
    • Metastatic (i.e. colorectal, sarcoma, breast, melanoma) and Primary (hepatocellular and cholangiocarcinoma)*
  • Benign liver tumors*
    • Hemagiomas
    • Adenomas
    • Focal Nodular Hyperplasia
    • Cysts
  • Extended lymph node dissection
  • Preoperative chemotherapy and radiation for tumor down staging (shrinking)
  • Trans-arterial chemoembolization with drug-eluting chemotherapy beads
  • SIR-spheres and Theraspheres -- the region’s only center to deliver these forms of internal radiation to treat liver tumors.

*Minimally Invasive Treatment Options Available

Learn more about liver cancer care at UofL James Graham Brown Cancer Center.

Melanoma

Melanoma, the most lethal form of skin cancer, is the fifth most common cancer in American men and the seventh most common in American women, killing more than 8,000 Americans annually. Melanoma is an aggressive cancer that may be associated with changes in a mole, a skin tumor, and drainage from a mole. Melanoma can spread very early to the lymph nodes and then to the rest of the body. It is very important that the proper surgery be performed.

UofL Physicians-Surgical Oncology is part of the James Graham Brown Cancer Center Multidisciplinary Melanoma Clinic, which takes a multidisciplinary approach to the delivery of cancer care with the region’s pre-eminent team of experts in the field. We tailor our treatment plans to each patient’s needs and take a coordinated, multidisciplinary approach to care. We offer a wide range of services, including screening, diagnosis and treatment options, for patients at every stage of melanoma. In addition, patients who have been treated elsewhere are offered follow-up or second opinions/options. We provide patients with melanoma and other skin conditions the latest and preferred treatment options. Patients with melanoma can go to one location -- our multidisciplinary clinic -- to see all the medical experts they need on the same day -- instead of multiple appointments at multiple locations. They leave with a treatment action plan and answers -- right away. We offer the following for the diagnosis and treatment of melanoma:

  • Resection (surgery) of melanoma, including sentinel lymph node biopsy
  • Lymph node dissection for metastatic melanoma
  • Isolated limb perfusion for advanced melanoma
  • Resection of metastatic (spread) melanoma, including liver, pancreas, intestine

Learn more about melanoma care at UofL James Graham Brown Cancer Center.

Pancreatic Cancer and Endocrine Tumors

Pancreatic cancer begins in the tissues of your pancreas, which is a large organ that lies behind the lower part of your stomach. Your pancreas, which is about six inches long, secretes enzymes that aid digestion and hormones, including insulin, to help your body process sugar. The pancreas, which is a very important part of your body, also makes pancreatic juices that contain enzymes to help digest food. The liver, intestine and other organs encircle the pancreas.

Pancreatic cancer occurs when cells in your pancreas develop genetic mutations. These mutations cause the cells to grow uncontrollably and to continue living after normal cells die. The collection of cells can form a tumor. There are different types of cells that can develop, and it is important to identify the cells to help assess the best treatment. Types of pancreatic cancer include:

  • Adenocarcinoma, which is cancer that forms in the pancreas ducts. Cells that line the ducts of the pancreas help produce digestive juices. The majority of pancreatic cancers are adenocarcinomas (75 percent). Of these types of cancer, the most common are ductal adenocarcinomas. About 65 percent of pancreatic ductal cancers arise in the head, neck or uncinate part of the pancreas; 15 perfect originate in the body or the tail of the gland; and 20 percent involve the whole gland. Another type of adenocarcinoma is cystic neoplasms.
  • Endocrine cancer, which is cancer that forms in the hormone-producing cells. Pancreatic endocrine tumors are rare tumors that may produce excess hormones (causing high blood sugars, low blood sugars, ulcers) and sometimes are cancerous. They require a coordinated treatment plan that includes surgery and rarely chemotherapy and radiation therapy. It is very important that the proper lymph node surgery be combined with the surgery and doctors that frequently treat tumors of the pancreas do that surgery.

UofL Physicians - Surgical Oncology was the first to perform Irreversible Electroporation (IRE) with the Nanoknife System to treat locally advanced pancreatic cancer in the Southeastern United States. A locally advanced pancreatic cancer has grown beyond the confines of the pancreas to invade surrounding vital areas. Patients with locally advanced pancreatic cancer have limited treatment options. The current standard of care is chemotherapy with radiation therapy. Only 5 percent to 8 percent of patients respond to that type of treatment, and the results are not long lasting. While using ablation to treat these types of cancers has been used, it can cause major complications to the area. IRE is a non-thermal ablation technology that has been shown to be safe near vital parts of the body. UofL Physicians-Surgical Oncology is trying to determine if the Nanoknife could be used to safely and effectively treat locally advanced pancreatic cancer.

To learn more about the Nanoknife, click here.

We offer the following for the diagnosis and treatment of pancreatic cancer:

  • Pancreatic resection (surgery)
  • Extended lymph node dissection
  • Combined pancreatic and liver surgery (when the tumor has spread to the liver)

Learn more about pancreatic cancer care at UofL James Graham Brown Cancer Center.

Sarcoma

Sarcoma is an aggressive cancer that may be associated with swelling, formation of a lump or tumor and pain. Some sarcomas are on the arms or legs, while others are on the chest, abdomen, or even deep inside the abdomen. Sarcomas are very rare and often require a coordinated treatment plan that includes surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. It is very important that the proper surgery be performed. Some patients with sarcoma need preoperative (before surgery) chemotherapy and radiation. Most patients are able to avoid radical amputations with the properly coordinated treatments.

We offer the following for the diagnosis and treatment of sarcoma:

  • Resection (surgery) of arm, leg or trunk sarcomas
  • Preoperative chemotherapy or radiation therapy
  • Intraoperative radiation (during surgery)
  • Resection of retroperitoneal sarcomas
  • Isolated limb perfusion (chemotherapy delivered directly to the tumor)

To make an appointment with UofL Physicians - Surgical Oncology, call 502-583-8303.

Physicians in this practice may not see patients at all locations listed below. For details, please call the appointment line for the location you are interested in visiting.

To make an appointment with UofL Physicians - Surgical Oncology, call 502-583-8303.

Offices and Clinics

  • Surgical Oncology at UofL Physicians Outpatient Center - Downtown
    401 E. Chestnut St.
    Suite 710
    Louisville, Kentucky 40202
    502-583-8303
    View Google Map
  • Surgical Oncology at Norton Medical Plaza - East End
    4950 Norton Healthcare Blvd.
    Suite 310
    Louisville, Kentucky 40241
    502-583-8303
    View Google Map
  • UofL James Graham Brown Cancer Center
    529 S. Jackson St.
    Louisville, Kentucky 40202
    502-562-4673
    View Google Map

Hospital Affiliations

  • University of Louisville Hospital
  • Jewish Hospital
  • Norton Hospitals

Dr. Robert Martin in surgeryThe surgical oncologists with UofL Physicians-Surgical Oncology are truly national leaders in our field. We work hand in hand with the other cancer specialists throughout the region (Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois and West Virginia), as well as at the Brown Cancer Center in multidisciplinary clinics, including breast cancer, gastrointestinal (gastric, esophageal, liver and pancreas) cancers, endocrine, thoracic and melanoma. We are actively involved in research to find better ways to diagnosis and treat cancer. We have programs that range from basic science to translational research to clinical research —  all aimed at improving the lives of patients with cancer. We continue to be on the forefront of pioneering new cancer treatment. Some highlights include:

  • We direct large national and international multicenter clinical trials, such as the Sunbelt Melanoma Trial, the world’s largest study of melanoma, involving 79 centers with more than 3,600 patients from around the United States and Canada, which was led by one of our surgical oncologists.
  • We have an NIH-funded laboratory that is exploring better treatment for esophageal and biliary tract cancer.
  • We are conducting NIH-funded research for gene therapy.
  • We were the first to provide vaccine therapy in the prevention of the recurrence of pancreatic adenocarcinoma. This means we are working to use vaccines that prevent the recurrence of some types of pancreatic cancers.
  • The first to perform Irreversible Electroporation (IRE) to treat locally advanced pancreatic cancer in the Southeastern United States. A locally advanced pancreatic cancer has grown beyond the confines of the pancreas to invade surrounding vital areas. Patients with locally advanced pancreatic cancer have limited treatment options. The current standard of care is chemotherapy with radiation therapy. Only 5 percent to 8 percent of patients respond to that type of treatment, and the results are not long lasting. While using ablation to treat these types of cancers has been used, it can cause major complications to the area. IRE is a non-thermal ablation technology that has been shown to be safe near vital parts of the body. UofL Physicians-Surgical Oncology is trying to determine if IRE could be used to safely and effectively treat locally advanced pancreatic cancer.
  • We have been awarded funding to explore gene expression patterns in the lymph nodes of patients whose melanoma has not spread. Overall, 15 percent to 20 percent of these patients with cancer-free lymph nodes eventually go on to develop metastases and ultimately die from their disease. We are trying to identify these high-risk node-negative patients who might benefit from additional therapy. In high-risk patients, it is likely true that melanoma cells regularly travel through the lymphatic system to sentinel nodes, whether we can detect the presence of such cells in the nodes or not. This study may allow us to identify those patients who may benefit from additional therapy.
  • We were the first to optimize the use of Commination Chemotherapy and Drug Eluting Beads in Metastatic Colorectal Cancer and Metastatic Disease to the Liver. This is a fairly new, targeted therapy for metastatic colon and liver cancers. It involves microscopic beads delivering chemotherapy right to the tumor. They are injected through that catheter directly into the tumor. Up until now, these tumors were highly resistant to this particular drug, but when delivered in this fashion, it’s extremely effective. The beads can be used alone but depending on the size of the tumor, it can be more effective when combined with other therapies. There are several benefits to using the microscopic beads loaded with chemotherapy. One is it is less toxic, meaning fewer side affects for patients. The other is it is also less invasive because it’s an outpatient procedure. It is designed for patients with a high risk for surgery and for those which surgery would not be of any benefit.

To make an appointment with UofL Physicians - Surgical Oncology, call 502-583-8303.

Next Steps

For more information or to make an appointment,
call 502-588-6000