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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Spotlight: Dr. Jan Sunde

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A Growing Presence in Gynecologic Cancer Care and Research

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Dr. Jan Sunde
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Jan Sunde, MD, Division Director, Gynecologic Oncology
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Baylor’s gynecologic oncology team is making an impact in institutions across the Texas Medical Center, bringing specialized expertise and cutting-edge treatments to women facing cancers of the female reproductive system.
 
“As part of the Dan L Duncan Cancer Center, our practice and our presence continue to grow,” said Dr. Jan Sunde, division director of Gynecologic Oncology.
 
The Duncan Cancer Center, one of two NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in Houston, is home to the unique treatments, innovative trials and promising research these centers are known for.
 
“We’re the only cancer center in Houston currently using hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) to treat ovarian cancer,” Dr. Sunde noted. The treatment, which uses heated chemotherapy to bathe the lining of the abdomen during surgery, has shown to improve survival in select patients.
 
“We also offer a Hereditary Ovarian and Uterine Cancer Clinic, led by Dr. Claire Hoppenot, providing counseling for women genetically predisposed to these cancers to ensure they get the screening and preventative care they need,” added Dr. Sunde.
 
The division has an active research program including clinical trials, offering collaborative trials with NRG and Gynecologic Oncology Group Partners and BCM-only trials. Examples include the use of oral niraparib (chemotherapy) with radiation for cervical cancer; the use of immunotherapy drugs combined with chemotherapy or radiation for endometrial cancer; the impact of uterine manipulation during minimally invasive surgery on endometrial cancer recurrence; and the use of a new agent for platinum resistant ovarian cancer.
 
“Chemotherapy plus immunotherapy has become our first-line treatment for recurrent cervical cancer, plus we have a new agent for second line disease,” he noted. “We continue to study new ways to get the body’s immune system to fight cancer, and to design new trials to meet the diverse needs of the patients and healthcare settings we serve.”
 
Practice sites include Baylor St. Luke’s main campus and the McNair campus, where the Duncan Cancer Center site is located, Harris Health Ben Taub Hospital and Smith Clinic, and Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women.
 
In the lab, his studies on endometrial secretome (or secretory) factors that help benign gynecologic tissues implant and grow where they don’t belong – including endometriosis and endosalpingiosis – are paving the way for breakthroughs in cancer detection and prevention