UPMC On Topic
Gynecologic Cancer: A team approach to care

Joseph L. Kelley, MD
Director, Division of Gynecologic Oncology

I think the advantage of coming to the program at Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC is the multidisciplinary care that is provided at our institution. We’ve assembled a team of physicians, nurses, geneticists, nutritionists, and social workers to help us in that process. 

And as a result of the collegial interaction amongst all these different specialties a comprehensive mode of treatment can be developed. 

Surgical solutions

Ovarian cancer is often suspected, but the diagnosis is truly not made until the surgery is performed. Those patients are referred in from our colleagues in the community who recognize the individual has an issue, seeks us out, and refers the patient to us. As a group we try to see all patients within 48 to 72 hours to improve access to care.

Minimally invasive surgery offers a patient a less traumatic experience. Smaller incisions are used, telescope like devices are placed into the abdomen, and these devices actually allow the physician to see better because it allows magnification of the surgical field, improves our dexterity, and then allows the patient to recover in a quicker fashion. It is absolutely equivalent with regards to outcomes or survival from cancers compared to conventional therapy. 

We often use intraperitoneal therapy and there is are two forms. There is what we would consider a standard form and then we also use a hyperthermic or heated form of chemotherapy.

Heated chemotherapy, which is a newer form of intraperitoneal therapy,  involves delivering the chemotherapy at the time of the surgical intervention as much of the tumor is removed and two devices are placed into the abdomen. The abdomen is closed and then heated. Chemotherapy is infused into the abdominal cavity over a period of 60 to 90 minutes.

Value of collaboration

One of the advantages of coming to UPMC, which is a large, comprehensive medical center, is that there are multiple disciplines, multiple specialists who have high levels of expertise that can participate in one’s care. 

The exchange of information amongst all the individuals involved in a patient’s care only enhances their care. 

I believe for patients who are diagnosed with a gynecologic malignancy this is the institution to be treated at within the region.

  • UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital
  • 300 Halket St.
  • Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3180
  • Main Hospital/Operator:
  • To find a physician, or schedule an appointment:
    1-866-MyMagee (696-2433)
  • UPMC | Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences | Supplemental content provided by Healthwise, Incorporated. To learn more, visit

    For help in finding a doctor or health service that suits your needs, call the UPMC Referral Service at 412-647-UPMC (8762) or 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Select option 1.

    UPMC is an equal opportunity employer. UPMC policy prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, genetics, sexual orientation, marital status, familial status, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected group status. Further, UPMC will continue to support and promote equal employment opportunity, human dignity, and racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity. This policy applies to admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in UPMC programs and activities. This commitment is made by UPMC in accordance with federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations.

    Medical information made available on is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have. Further, is not a tool to be used in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises, you should seek appropriate emergency medical services.

    Pittsburgh, PA, USA |