Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center is the clinical home for the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center at Baylor College of Medicine, one of only three NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in Texas and site of the largest clinical genetics program in the nation. This allows us to interrogate cancer cells down to the very genes that cause them, thereby providing new treatment targets.
Combining compassionate care for the patient and family with expertise in precision medicine, research, and surgical technique is the area in which our team excels, and we look forward to transforming our vision of a cancer-free life into reality.
Improving the Accuracy of Breast Cancer Surgery
Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center is the first hospital in the Southern U.S. to use the Sentimag Magnetic Localization System with both the Magseed technology and the newly FDA-approved Magtrace liquid tracer to locate and remove tumors in patients with invasive breast cancer. Dr. Alastair Thompson and Dr. Stacey Carter, and Dr. Elizabeth Bonefas, breast surgeons at Baylor St. Luke’s, performed the procedure.
The Magseed is a small metal seed the size of the tip of a pen that is used to mark and remove small tumors that are difficult for the surgeon to feel. The seed is placed directly into the center of the tumor any time before surgery under mammogram or ultrasound guidance. This enables the surgeon to accurately locate the center of the tumor and ensure it is removed in one piece while preserving as much healthy tissue as possible. The Magseed replaces the need for a wire localization technique, which can be painful and uncomfortable for the patient.
“This procedure is really transformational for the patient because it allows us to do a small day case, fine-tuned delicate surgery rather than doing a big operation,” said Dr. Thompson. “Additionally, the tumor with the seed in it and the surrounding tissue get looked at immediately by our pathologists to give an assessment while the patient is still asleep. It helps us get away from the 1 in every 3 patients across the United States that has to undergo a second operation for a re-excision.”
100 New Genes Associated With Different Types of Cancer
The organization, which studies up to 500 samples for each cancer type, has identified more than 100 new genes to date and has received $114 million in grant funding for research to identify every gene and mutation linked to 50 types of cancer.
Advanced Tumor Analysis for State-of-the-Art Cancer Care
Our system-wide Molecular Tumor Board, spearheaded by oncologists and physician scientists, provides expert analysis of genetic markers in tumor DNA and genomic markers in patient DNA to refine diagnosis and prognosis. This provides targeted treatment options for cancer patients with the most complex diagnoses as well as for tumors that are refractory to standard treatment protocol. This also allows for recommendations of targeted prevention modalities for family members.
Our Tumor Board is virtual, allowing attendance by oncologists from all over CommonSpirit Health, the parent system of Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center. We also offer continuing education in genetic testing and diagnosis and CME credits for participating physicians.
Continuing To Specialize in Mesothelioma Treatment
The Scarless Approach to Thyroid Surgery
Chief of Endocrine Surgery at
Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center
Advanced Endoscopy & Procedures for GI Cancers
Pioneers in Pancreatic Cancer Treatments
Revolutionizing Pituitary Tumor Treatment
Leading Bladder Cancer Research
Applying Genomics to Bladder Cancer Treatment
He and his team found a connection between cancer subtype and outcomes. “We were able to show that mutation signatures, molecular subtypes, load of new cancer-associated molecules, and known clinical and pathological factors have a very clear influence on overall patient survival,” says Dr. Lerner.
Taking these factors into account allows for more personalized and effective treatment for patients. “Of the 11 patients we identified as having a neuronal subtype, all of those evaluable for objective response responded to the treatment (two complete response, six partial response), or 72% overall. This translated to a very high survival probability, which is unprecedented in advanced bladder cancer,” says Lerner.
Targeting Estrogen Receptors to Reduce Bladder Cancer Recurrence
This prototypic selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM) was given to prevent carcinogenesis in these patients. Findings revealed that this regimen reduced and even eliminated marker lesions in participants.
DNA Fracturing Rewires Gene Control in Cancer
Understanding the mechanisms that mediate widespread DNA damage in the cancer genome is of great interest to cancer physicians and scientists because it may lead to improved treatments and diagnosis. In this study, a multi-institutional team led by researchers at the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center, in partnership with Baylor College of Medicine, has brought attention to genomic structural variation as a previously unappreciated mechanism involved in altering DNA methylation, a form of gene control, in human cancers.
“Genomic structural variations occur when a piece of DNA that is in one part of the genome is moved to another part of the genome, which shows up as a breakpoint in the sequence. Therefore, when sequencing a DNA segment, one may find two pieces of DNA from other regions fused together, which disrupts the genetic instructions encoded in DNA,” said corresponding author Chad Creighton, MD, and co-director of Cancer Bioinformatics at the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center.
“This time, we had more cases and deeper sequencing than what was previously available,”
“We think this may be one of the first surveys of cancer genomics that shows where these changes in DNA methylation happen and in what types of cancer.”
Mechanism Reprograms Breast Cancer to Become Metastatic
A team led by researchers at the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center, in partnership with Baylor College of Medicine and Harvard Medical School, has unveiled a new mechanism to help explain how endocrine-resistant breast cancer acquires metastatic behavior, opening the possibility of new therapeutic strategies.
Chris’ Story: From Stage Four to Survivor
Active and healthy his whole life, Chris was first misdiagnosed with exercise-induced asthma and then pneumonia. Years later, Chris discovered he had stage-four left thoracic and abdominal epithelioid mesothelioma. Because his mesothelioma had spread so deeply, his cardiothoracic surgeon did not feel comfortable operating and suggested chemotherapy prior to surgery to shrink the tumors.
Cynthia’s Story: Living Cancer and Scar-Free
Cynthia Doyle was familiar with papillary thyroid cancer because it had affected several members of her family before. She knew her cancer was treatable with surgery, but she had witnessed the side effects. She wanted to avoid trouble with her voice and the scar on her throat so she began to hunt for scarless thyroid surgery.
Dr. Raymon Grogan, Section Chief of Endocrine Surgery at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center, one of the only doctors in the nation who performs transoral thyroidectomy, or TOETVA — a scarless thyroid surgery that allows for the safe and total removal of the thyroid or parathyroid glands without any external scarring to the neck. Shortly after surgery, Cynthia was informed her cancer was entirely removed with negative surgical margins.
Cancer Funding and Services Continue to Grow, Offering Patients Another Option in Houston
Recruiting for Study To Observe COVID-19 in Cancer Patients
Offering Alternative to Laparoscopy for Rectal Cancer Patients
New Tumor Sequencing Test Changes Patient Treatment Options
The Cancer Exome Sequencing test, available through the Medical Genetics Laboratory at Baylor College of Medicine, is a cutting-edge capability with important implications for the design of therapeutic protocols for cancer patients. The test identifies the genetic mutations in a patient’s tumor that can be used to predict how aggressive a tumor is or determine how likely it is that a tumor will resist or respond to targeted agents or other cancer therapies.
Specializing in Mesothelioma Treatment
Director of General Thoracic Surgery Research at
Baylor College of Medicine