Few hospitals are part of the Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) Cancer Alliance. The Alliance, founded in 2013, is a cooperative relationship designed to bring high-quality cancer care to community providers across the country. Miami Cancer Institute, part of Baptist Health South Florida, is one of only three cancer centers in the alliance. This unique collaborative relationship, paired with innovative technology and physician expertise make Miami Cancer Institute a premier destination for cancer treatment in South Florida.
Compassionate care extends to all facets of the Cancer Institute. Focusing on a cure is centered around each patient's personal journey. Integrating person-centered care is the standard shares Jane Mendez, M.D., Chief of Breast Surgery "that personal connection that you have with your physician is a necessary part of your treatment:'
Gynecologic Cancer Awareness
Patients with women's health needs can choose across an array of specialties, such as gynecologic oncology. Gynecologic oncology is a subspecialty of obstetrics and gynecology at Baptist Health South Florida. The team has a nationally renowned reputation with additional training in gastrointestinal, urologic, and complex abdominal and pelvic surgery.
The Miami Cancer Institute has one of the largest minimally invasive gynecologic surgical programs in the region. As a designated Center of Excellence in minimally invasive gynecologic surgery by the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists, patients have access to robotic-assisted surgery, radiation therapy, and systemic therapy like hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) for treatment of ovarian cancer. Robotic-assisted surgery is a technologically advanced form of minimally invasive surgery, often used to treat gynecologic cancers offering faster recovery times and shorter hospital stays.
Leading this work is John Diaz, M.D., Director of Robotic Surgery and recently named Chief of Gynecologic Oncology, who has performed thousands of robotic surgeries. Dr. Diaz provides comprehensive and compassionate gynecologic cancer care for women with endometrial, ovarian, cervical, vaginal, or vulvar cancer. Dr. Diaz prefers this method because
"robotic surgery uses sophisticated robotic instrumentation to act like surgical hands. The precision of this surgery shortens a patient's recovery time;' he shares. Dr. Diaz's contributions to the field of gynecology are significant, having helped pioneer fertility-sparing surgery for cervical cancer and sentinel lymph node mapping for gynecologic malignancies. Both approaches are now standards of care in the field.
Contributions to hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy
In addition to robotic surgery, Dr. Diaz has been involved in research focused on hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy also known as HIPEC for almost a decade. The innovative therapy is an additive to surgical removal of a tumor. Following surgery patients receive this form of chemotherapy to eliminate microscopic cancer cells that may remain after surgery. While an approved treatment method, access to HIPEC is still relatively limited due to availability of trained specialists. Dr. Diaz comments on the advantages of using HIPEC chemotherapy sharing, "when we do a warm chemotherapy bath in the belly, we can give chemotherapy right where the cancer was. We can give a much higher dose by applying it directly in the belly because the chemotherapy doesn't have to go through the veins, the kidneys, and the liver. That's why it is so important to go to a center that specializes in this and that has the expertise, like we have here, to help mitigate potential side effects."
Dr. Diaz's recent contribution to clinical scholarship explores if the addition of hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) with carboplatin during secondary cytoreductive surgery is beneficial in the treatment of recurrent ovarian cancer. The study, titled, Secondary Cytoreduction and Carboplatin Hyperthermic lntraperitoneal Chemotherapy for PlatinumSensitive Recurrent Ovarian Cancer: An MSK Team Ovary Phase II Study, was published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
Refer a Patient
Physicians interested in referring their patients to Dr. Diaz can request an appointment online or book an appointment at 786-596-2000. To access a full directory of the gynecology oncology team, click here.