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A Closer Look: Division of Gynecologic Oncology


UH Gynecologic Oncology team specializes in comprehensive compassionate care of patients with gynecologic cancers

UH OBGYN Clinical Update | August 2021

The Gynecologic Oncology cancer care team at UH specializes in comprehensive care of patients with gynecologic cancer and integrates with the UH Seidman Cancer Center and other UH MacDonald Women’s Hospital specialists to provide the latest treatments, technologies, and clinical trials to patients diagnosed with gynecologic cancers.

With a focus on comprehensive, compassionate, and personalized care, the Gynecologic Oncology team addresses the unique concerns of people with cancers of the reproductive system, with an emphasis on individualized care, quality of life, and a family-centered approach, all while providing care in a nurturing and supportive clinical environment.

As a leading member of the National Cancer Institute-funded NRG Oncology, the Gynecologic Oncology team participates in dozens of nationally and internationally sponsored clinical trials, searching for treatment options above and beyond standard therapies includin

  • Immunotherapy, targeted therapy, and chemotherapy
  • Fertility preservation options including pre-surgical/preradiotherapy/pre-chemotherapy egg retrieval and freezing
  • Fertility sparing surgery

Proven Therapies Combined with the Latest Technologies

Gynecologic cancer treatment at UH Seidman Cancer Center features standard of care therapies, including surgery, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, targeted therapy, and radiation, while incorporating new and exciting evidence-based therapy practices. Our oncology experts may administer these treatments using the latest technologies, including:

  • State-of-the-art surgical technologies and chemotherapy to address otherwise untreatable gynecological cancer
  • Advanced therapies for gynecologic cancer including Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC)
  • Specialized expertise in minimally invasive and robotic surgery, which minimizes postsurgical pain and recovery time
  • Sentinel lymph node mapping in the surgical management of endometrial, cervical, and vulvar cancers

Support across the Cancer Care Spectrum

Patients and their families are an integral part of the decision-making process for medical treatment. Our specialists give top priority to preserving a patient’s emotional health, while minimizing treatment-related side effects. Psychotherapists, social workers and a compassionate team of oncology nurses provide a strong support system before, during and after treatment.

Our multidisciplinary team of specialists offers unique expertise in delivering advanced cancer therapies. Team members may include:

In addition, therapies are complemented by services from dieticians, nutritionists, psychotherapists and social workers who specialize in supporting oncology-related issues. Patients requiring hospitalization are cared for on a hospital floor dedicated to gynecologic oncology.

The Division of Gynecologic Oncology’s also includes the following services:

  • Onco-fertility program
  • Extensive portfolio of clinical trials of new treatments
  • Only Proton Therapy Center in Ohio
  • Genetic analysis of tumors to guide personalized therapy
  • Genetic risk assessment to guide preventive strategies in cancer-prone families
  • CaReS (Cancer Recovery and Survivorship) program to help patients improve their overall wellbeing following cancer treatment

Referrals are accepted for the following conditions:

  • Ovarian, tubal and peritoneal cancers
  • Endometrial cancer
  • Cervical cancer
  • Vulvar cancer
  • Uterine sarcomas
  • Vaginal cancer
  • Gestational trophoblastic disease
  • Pre-invasive conditions of the genital tract and uterus

The UH Gynecologic Oncology Team

The Gynecologic Oncology team works closely with referring providers to expedite timely care and workup for patients. Diagnostic services include CT scans, PET scans, laboratory tests, biopsies (both in clinic and through interventional radiology referrals), and genetics referrals.

Gynecologic oncologists:

Inpatient and outpatient nurse practitioners:

Chemotherapy nurse specialists:

  • Nancy Fusco, RN
  • Anne Heugel, RN
  • Jillian Knazek, RN

Nurse coordinators:

  • Jeanne Capretta, RN

Patient Access:

  • Sandra Diliberto-Piazza: Team Lead, Patient Access Coordinator
  • Karlease Jones: Patient Access Coordinator
  • Caron Noe: Patient Access Coordinator

Gynecologic oncology services are available through UH at various locations across Northeast Ohio:

To refer a patient please call Sandra Piazza, New Patient Access Coordinator, at 216-844-3954 or email Sandra.Diliberto-Piazza@UHhospitals.org.