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Surgical Oncology at Drexel Cancer Care

Surgeon in the operating room.

At Drexel Medicine, our surgeons are experts in innovative approaches to the management of cancer, and specialize in the use of minimally invasive techniques, including robotic surgery. These precise surgical procedures can result in less pain and a shorter hospital stay.

Surgeons at Drexel Medicine excel in the surgical treatment of all types of cancers including:

  • Adrenal
  • Brain
  • Colorectal
  • Esophageal
  • Head and neck
  • Liver
  • Lung
  • Melanoma
  • Pancreatic
  • Prostate
  • Sarcomas
  • Stomach
  • Thyroid

Surgical Oncology Techniques


Cryosurgery is the use of extreme cold to destroy abnormal tissue.

Radiofrequency ablation

Radiofrequency ablation is an image-guided technique that uses heat to destroy cancer cells. A needle electrode is guided to the tumor and high frequency electrical currents are applied. Most often used to treat liver disease, this technique may be used in combination with chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

Anal sphincter preserving surgery

Anal sphincter preserving surgery is for tumors that affect the lower portion of the rectum. This surgery helps selected patients to avoid a colostomy.

Sentinel lymph node mapping therapy

During sentinel lymph node mapping therapy, a Drexel Medicine surgeon injects a substance into the tumor near a lymph node. The substance is tracked to see if the cancer has spread to any other lymph nodes or areas of the body.

Partial breast treatment

Partial breast treatment is a five-day treatment alternative to breast radiation for women with certain smaller, early stage breast cancers. After lumpectomy, or the removal of the breast tumor, a balloon-tipped catheter is positioned into the surgical area. A radioactive seed is placed into the balloon and remains in place for ten minutes. This procedure is repeated twice a day, with a six-hour interval in between, for five days.


Chemoembolization is a procedure that delivers chemotherapy directly to the tumor using narrow tubes called catheters, which reach the treatment area using a tiny skin puncture. In addition, a second procedure called embolization may be used to cut off blood supply to the tumor. This starves the tumor of oxygen and nutrients and at the same time, traps the anti-cancer drug at the treatment site, allowing for a greater therapeutic effect.

Chemoembolization is often used for patients who have primary liver cancer or metastatic liver cancer that has spread to the organ from other areas of the body. This treatment may also be combined with surgery, radiation therapy, or radiofrequency ablation.

Hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC)

Hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) is a breakthrough treatment option that may prolong life for patients with advanced cancer of the abdominal cavity. Drexel Surgery performs HIPEC at Hahnemann University Hospital on patients with colon, ovarian, appendiceal, and gastric cancers, as well as low-grade sarcomas and pseudomyxoma peritonei. This surgery is performed in conjunction with a patient's oncologist, who continues to manage his or her care after the procedure. Learn more about hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy

Learn more about Drexel Medicine Surgery.

Related Drexel Doctors

Wilbur B. Bowne, MD, FACS

Wilbur B. Bowne, MD, FACS

Associate Professor
Clinical Services: minimally invasive surgery, pancreatic disease, hepatobiliary surgery, surgical oncology, gastrointestinal cancers, pancreatic cancer and related diseases, pseudomyxoma peritonei

Learn more about Dr. Bowne.

Jonathan Thomas, MD

Jonathan Thomas, MD

Clinical Services: neurosurgery, neurosurgical oncology

Learn more about Dr. Thomas.

Amanda M. Woodworth, MD

Amanda M. Woodworth, MD

Director, Breast Health and Wellness Center; Assistant Professor of Surgery
Clinical Services: breast surgery

Learn more about Dr. Woodworth.

The information on these pages is provided for general information only and should not be used for diagnosis or treatment, or as a substitute for consultation with a physician or health care professional. If you have specific questions or concerns about your health, you should consult your health care professional.

The images being used are for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted is a model.

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