I am an Associate Professor of Surgery and Chief of the Melanoma/Sarcoma service at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI). My interest in melanoma, sarcoma, and regional therapies dates back to the beginning of my practice over 12 years ago. I am the main sarcoma surgeon at RPCI and treat soft tissue sarcomas at all anatomic locations; extremity, truncal, intra-abdominal/retroperitoneal, head and neck, and gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST). I am a member of major sarcoma groups including the NCCN Sarcoma Panel, the Connective Tissue Oncology Society, and the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) Sarcoma Committee. I have been the lead investigator for several sarcoma trials at RPCI, have authored multiple papers on the treatment of soft tissue sarcomas, and have been an invited speaker on this topic at national meetings. I oversee our weekly sarcoma/soft tissue tumor multidisciplinary conference where all new sarcoma and rare soft tissue tumor cases are discussed in order to develop the optimal treatment plan.
I also treat unusual benign and locally aggressive soft tissue tumors. These include desmoid/aggressive fibromatosis, dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans (DFSP), neurogenic tumors such as neurofibroma and schwannoma, large and atypical intramuscular lipomatous tumors, solitary fibrous tumor, ganglioneuroma, and adrenal myelolipoma. As noted above, our weekly multidisciplinary conference allows for a thorough discussion of the patients with these various tumors. In some cases, surgery may not even be necessary.
I have a significant clinical interest in melanoma and other aggressive cutaneous malignancies such as Merkel cell carcinoma. Our Institution has been offering sentinel lymph node biopsy since 1996 and I have personally performed over 450. For patients with nodal metastatic disease, I frequently perform axillary dissections (very different from what is done for breast cancer), superficial and deep groin dissections, and even less common lymphadenectomies in the epitrochlear and popliteal basins. I have advanced the regional therapies program at RPCI for patients with isolated extremity disease (in transit melanoma, Merkel cell carcinoma, and some sarcomas) that is no longer amenable to simple surgical excision. Isolated limb perfusion (ILP) or isolated limb infusion (ILI) can still be potentially curative in these situations. Roswell Park Cancer Institute is one of only two institutions in New York State that performs these isolated regional therapies.
As another type of isolated regional therapy, I developed the cytoreduction/hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemoperfusion (HIPEC) program at RPCI in 2002. I routinely perform cytoreductive surgery/HIPEC for appendiceal neoplasms, colorectal cancer, mesothelioma, and other peritoneal surface malignancies. In addition to patients with these diseases in WNY, I have provided this treatment option for the province of Ontario.
Aside from my clinical responsibilities, I serve as the Surgical Oncology Fellowship Program Director and on the Executive Council of the Society of Surgical Oncology. I am a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a member of multiple surgical and oncologic societies, including the Society of Surgical Oncology, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, and the Association for Academic Surgeons. I have served as the past president for both the WNY Chapter of the American College of Surgeons and the Buffalo Surgical Society. I was also previously the WNY State Chair for the ACS Commission on Cancer.