The Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Women's Health

Division of Gynecologic Oncology

obgynDivision of Gynecologic Oncology
Gary L. Goldberg, MD
The Linda and Earle Altman Faculty Scholar for Cancer Research

Professor and Vice Chair

Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Women's Health

Division Director
(718) 718-2588

ggoldber@montefiore.org

Overview of the Division

The Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Women's Health of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Center ranks among the best in the country in the quality of its clinical, research and educational programs.

The Director of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology is Dr. Gary L. Goldberg. The Division has 10 full-time and one part-time clinical Gynecologic Oncologists.  In addition to these highly trained physicians, there are three clinical oncology nurses who assist in the overall care of patients receiving chemotherapy, and a data manager.  We have a highly competitive, board approved Fellowship training program in Gynecologic Oncology, which is one of only approximately 46 in the United States.  The Division of Gynecologic Oncology is comprised of a team of health care providers who have received comprehensive specialized training in the management of reproductive cancers.  In order to deliver comprehensive treatment plans individualized to the special needs of women with these cancers, available services include the entire spectrum of first class gynecologic oncology care, including consultations, screenings, follow-up care, minimally invasive and robotic surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.  Treatment emphasis is on a custom-tailored approach to the needs of the individual woman. Participation in national and international sponsored research protocols, including NCI-sponsored NRG Oncology, provides access to cutting edge and innovative therapies for patients with ovarian, endometrial, cervical, vulvar, vaginal and fallopian tube cancer, as well as gestational trophoblastic disease.

The Division of Gynecologic Oncology is an active member of the NCI supported Albert Einstein College of Medicine Cancer Center. The Cancer Center is one of the largest medical school-affiliated cancer research centers on the East Coast and is directed by a group of cancer researchers of national and international distinction.

The outpatient offices are designed to facilitate a smooth flow of patients, and minor surgeries and procedures can be performed onsite using our state-of-the-art-equipment. This includes lasers, loop electrosurgical units, ultrasound machines, and a bone densitometer. Patients have their choice of being seen at three locations in the Bronx.

We provide comprehensive surgical expertise for our patients including complex radical and reconstructive cancer surgery. Dr. Gary L Goldberg is a nationally and internationally recognized leader in this field. We provide cutting edge laparoscopic, hysteroscopic, and other minimally invasive surgical and robotic surgery techniques under the direction of Dr. Dennis Yi-Shin Kuo. Because of their specialized skills in pelvic surgery, in addition to treating malignancies, our physicians also treat women with complex gynecologic surgical problems.

With state of the art new tests, there is a large role of genetics in identifying patients at risk for breast, ovarian, endometrial, and colon cancer.  We have a comprehensive screening program for counseling and treating women with personal or family histories of gynecologic cancer. This program includes consultation and counseling by a genetic counselor and gynecologic oncologist testing for eligible patients.

The Division remains a recognized leader in the evaluation of patients with abnormal Pap smears, HPV and HPV-related disease, pre-invasive cervical disease, and cervical cancer. Innovative treatment modalities and strategies are offered, as well as enrollment in studies that are evaluating the epidemiological, viral, nutritional, and immunologic changes that occur in women with cervical neoplasia. All therapeutic options are available including laser, loop electrosurgical procedures and cryosurgery on an outpatient basis.  The Division has demonstrated excellence in teaching, research, and clinical practice. The faculty is responsible for educating medical students, residents and postgraduate fellows. Varied in their research interest, the faculty is extremely active in clinical and translational research. The entire spectrum of Gynecologic Oncology is represented in these research efforts.

 

The Translational Research Environment

Effective implementation of clinical and translational research requires a multidisciplinary approach, which includes clinical, basic science, and epidemiology expertise. At The Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Center, such expertise exists for our Women’s Cancer focuses. Divisional members have active, multifaceted clinical and translational research programs in all of these cancers. Dr. Mark Einstein (Vice Chair for Research), a recognized leader in clinical research and a leader in multiple national clinical trial consortia, oversees the Clinical Research Trials for Gynecologic Oncology. For a list of our open clinical trials in Women’s Cancers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, please see the Einstein Cancer Center Clinical Trials. 

Cervical cancer:  The Division has been focused on the treatment and prevention of cervical cancer for over two decades. Members of the Division, including Dr. Gary Goldberg, Dr. Mark Einstein, and Dr. Robert Burk, have been actively involved in translational studies targeting the cause of cervical cancer, Human Papillomavirus (HPV). Part of the research focus also involves prevention and prediction of outcomes using biomarker profiles. Division faculty and fellows are actively involved in numerous clinical trials in cervical cancer therapy and prevention.

Ovarian cancer:  The Division has multiple clinical and translational research studies in ovarian cancer and overcoming chemotherapy resistance. Members of the Division, including Dr. Gloria Huang, Dr. Gary Goldberg, along with internationally-recognized scientists at Einstein, including Dr. Susan Horwitz, have been investigating mechanisms for overcoming chemotherapy resistance and investigating new drugs against ovarian cancer in early development.

Uterine cancer:  There has been a rapid recent rise in uterine cancers in the US, in part due to the obesity epidemic. Members of the Division, including Drs. Smith, Kuo, Huang, Smotkin, Nevadunsky, HouEinstein, and Goldberg, have been working with teams of investigators at Einstein to better elucidate molecular and hormonal pathways that lead to uterine cancer. All Divisional members are actively involved in clinical trials in women with high-risk and other uterine cancers.

Other related cancer research:  The Division collaborates with other clinical and basic science departments in basic, translational and clinical research activities including but not limited to: palliative care, epidemiology, infectious disease and immunology, nuclear medicine, radiation oncology, experimental therapeutics and Phase I clinical trials.  Dr. June Hou is a Gynecologic Oncologist who is a member of the Phase I clinical trials team at Einstein Cancer Center.

 

Dennis Yi-Shin Kuo, MD

Dr. Kuo is the newly appointed Fellowship Program Director.  He is a board certified Gynecologic Oncologist who is charged with the minimal invasive program in the gynecologic oncology division. We provide cutting edge hysteroscopic, laparoscopic, robotic assisted laparoscopic surgical techniques to our patients.  The advent of robotic assisted laparoscopic procedures has allowed us to perform complicated endometrial cancer surgical procedures via minimal invasive approach to all patients, especially the obese patients with relative ease, allowing them to have a better recovery time, shorter hospital stay, fewer complications and better quality of life after the procedure. Dr. Kuo is a Principal Investigator for several in-house Phase II clinical trials in both epithelial ovarian cancer and endometrial cancer.  He also has a keen interest in the education of minimal invasive techniques to the fellows and residents.  He has devised an extensive educational program for the trainees so that they can attain the milestones necessary to complete their training.

 

Harriet O. Smith, MD

Dr. Smith is a Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and a board certified Gynecologic Oncologist with many years of clinical experience in the treatment of gynecological cancers and pelvic floor dysfunction.  She is a member of the Einstein Cancer Center.  An author of approximately 100 peer reviewed articles, chapters and invited papers, her research interests focus on steroid receptors as they relate to endometrial and ovarian cancer development.  Specifically, she has characterized the G-coupled estrogen receptor in endometrial and ovarian as a biomarker for outcome in these diseases.  Her second focus has been on the role of tumor activated macrophages and cytokines in ovarian and endometrial cancer as biomarkers for recurrence and development of secondary primaries.  Another area of research involves using spectroscopy as a non-intrusive method to detect cervical dysplasia.  Dr. Smith is also the Principle Investigator of the Gynecologic Oncology Tissue Bio-Repository. 

 

Mark H. Einstein, MD, MS

Dr. Einstein is a board certified Gynecologic Oncologist whose primary research interests focus on the pathogenesis, therapy, and prevention of cervical cancer. His translational work in cervical cancer is multi-faceted; investigating the host and virally-induced epigenetic, genetic and immune profiles along the malignant transformation path to provide insight into the process of cervical carcinogenesis.

He is also active in clinical trial cooperative groups as Co-Chair of the NRG (formerly the Gynecologic Oncology Group) Immunotherapy Subcommittee and a voting member of the NRG Cancer Prevention and Control Committee, as well as a prior member of the NRG Cervix Committee.  He is on the HPV working group of the NCI Aids Malignancy Consortium and leads their Cervical Cancer efforts in the setting of HIV.  He is also an active member and Co-Chair of the Gynecological Cancer Workgroup of the New York Cancer Consortium and NY GOG and is the PI of many of its gynecologic cancer therapeutics trials accruing patients throughout New York hospitals.  He has been active in translating clinical trial and translational data into clinical practices regarding cervical cancer prevention including being a 1) member of the Steering Committee for the American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology (ASCCP) Cervical Screening and Management Guidelines, 2) workgroup member of the American Cancer Society and the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists separate recommendations for HPV vaccines as well as 3) a consultant to the World Health Organization (WHO), developing their modules on the immunologic basis of HPV vaccines, and harmonizing with current cervical cancer screening.  He also is the Chair of the Foundation for Women's Cancers (formerly Gynecologic Cancer Foundation) National Cervical Cancer Public Education Campaign and a prior member of their Board of Directors.  He is also Board Member of the American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology, the organization that leads most of the US cervical cancer screening recommendations, including the most recent cervical cancer screening recommendations and abnormal testing management guidelines.  Dr. Einstein is a Fellow of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.

 

David Smotkin, MD, PhD

David Smotkin is an Assistant Professor and a board-certified gynecologic oncologist.  He has an outstanding background in the basic sciences and he is currently the Director of Gyn Oncology at Montefiore’s Moses (West Campus) site. He is an outstanding surgical mentor and is instrumental in educating the fellows in patient care, peri-operative management and chemotherapy 

 

Gloria S. Huang, MD

Dr. Huang is a board certified Gynecologic Oncologist.  She has a dedicated laboratory and is investigating IGF2 autocrine expression in ovarian cancer cells.  This expression of IGF2 results in an aggressive, chemo-resistant phenotype, mediated by IGF2 binding to the insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF1R).   The latter leads to activation of downstream pathways including PI3K/AKT (3). The role of insulin-like growth factor signaling and its potential for modulation to alter and enhance cellular responses to cytotoxic and targeted agents will be evaluated. In order to determine the direct effects of autocrine IGF2 expression, she will develop cell lines and mouse models of ovarian cancer that conditionally overexpress or suppress IGF2. These transfected cell lines will be grown in tissue culture and used to produce xenograft models of ovarian cancer. They will use these models to determine the direct consequences of IGF2 autocrine expression, with regard to proliferation, invasion, and chemo-sensitivity. These unique models of ovarian cancer will be utilized to assess the efficacy of small molecules and antibodies that target IGF2 and the IGF1R, alone and in combination with cytotoxic and targeted therapeutic agents. In addition, IGF2 expression and signaling in chemo-sensitive and chemo-resistant patient-derived primary ovarian cell lines and ovarian tumor heterotransplants will be profiled, and the ability of IGF2 modulation to restore chemo-sensitivity will be evaluated.

 

Nicole S. Nevadunsky, MD

Dr. Nevadunsky is a board certified Gynecologic Oncologist and is board certified by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) in Hospice and Palliative Medicine.  Her primary research interests focus on palliative medicine and quality of life, lifestyle interventions and adjuvant pharmacotherapies for women with gynecological malignancies and minimally invasive surgical techniques including robotic surgery.  She is active in clinical trial cooperative groups (formerly the Gynecologic Oncology Group) and her most recent investigator initiated clinical trial is of physical exercise for women with endometrial cancer.  She is the Physician Champion for the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation (OCRF), Women to Women, peer mentoring program at Montefiore Medical Center, which aims at providing support for women with newly diagnosed ovarian, endometrial and cervical cancers.  Dr. Nevadunsky completed her fellowship training at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School and residency training at New York Presbyterian Hospital, Weill Cornell Medical Center.  She is a Fellow of the American Board of Obstetrics and gynecology.

 

June Hou, MD

 Dr. Hou is a board-certified Gynecologic Oncologist who specializes in caring for women with ovarian, uterine, cervical, vaginal and vulvar cancers.  She is also board certified in Hospice and Palliative Medicine and champions a comprehensive approach to improve quality of care for women at high risk for, or those diagnosed with, gynecologic malignancies.  Dr. Hou completed her residency training in obstetrics and gynecology at Yale and joined Montefiore's Gynecologic Oncology Division after completion of her fellowship at Montefiore and Albert Einstein College of Medicine.  She is skilled in minimally invasive surgical techniques (laparoscopic as well as robotic on the DaVinci system) as well as radical surgical cytoreductive procedures.  Dr. Hou believes that knowledge and access are keys to optimizing care in an individual as well as in communities.  She is a member of the Montefiore Outreach Program in Flushing, Queens and is committed to improve gynecologic cancer awareness and access to care in the Asian American population of New York.

Dr. Hou is a selected member of the Phase I Group at Albert Einstein Cancer Center (AECC) and is a member of the protocol review committee at AECC.  Her research interests include early phase (Phase I and II) clinical trials involving novel therapeutics and targeted therapies for women with gynecologic malignancies as well as strategies to improve quality of life for patients on Phase I trials.  She is a principle investigator for numerous clinical trials.  A Career Development Grant (K-award) awardee, her research also focuses on the identification of molecular and genetic determinants of survival in high risk uterine cancer patients and the development of novel therapies for the treatment of high risk uterine malignancies.  She has won numerous research awards, including the top prize in the Young Investigator Symposium at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and a Pilot Grant for AECC.

 

Merieme Klobocista, MD

 Dr. Merieme Klobocista is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Women's Health, Division of Gynecologic Oncology.  She completed her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine and her fellowship in Gynecologic Oncology at the University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine.  She is board certified in Obstetrics & Gynecology and Hospice and Palliative Medicine.  Her research focus is in rare uterine tumors for which she is the principal investigator in a number of clinical trials involving these tumors.  In addition to clinical trials, her research interests are in palliative care and survivorship in gynecologic cancer patients.

 

Rebecca Phaeton, MD

Dr. Rebecca Phaeton is a physician-scientist currently working on the development of Radioimmunotherapy as a novel therapeutic modality for the treatment of HPV related cervical cancer for patients in the Bronx and also seeks to develop the global outreach of gynecologic oncology at Montefiore.  Prior to training at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in her gynecologic oncology fellowship, she completed residency training at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.  She currently sees patients at the Family Care Center at 3444 Kossuth Avenue.

 

 

Current Fellows, Division of Gynecologic Oncology

Lori Spoozak, MD 2012-2015
Anne Van Arsdale, MD 2013-2016
Jenna Zechmeister, MD 2013-2016
Eirwen Scott, MD 2014-2017

 

For additional information about the Fellowship in Gynecologic Oncology, click here.

 
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