On the evening of November 20, Dr. Hugh Taylor welcomed just over 20 guests to an intimate event at the Boyer Center, focusing on the department’s advances for women in gynecological cancer research and infertility. Following a cocktail reception and tour of the lab of Dr. Alessandro Santin, guests enjoyed a seated dinner, during which Dr. Taylor offered a brief history of the School and overview of the pioneering medical advances that have been made in the Department.
Dr. Taylor spoke to the group about his own research in endometriosis and how his work helps women suffering from the painful condition as well as related issues of infertility. Further, he discussed his clinical research in the areas of embryo implantation and his role in using IVF to assist many women with a thin endometrium to conceive. He also shared with the group about Yale’s development of a non-invasive endometriosis test for monitoring disease progression and treatment response—a test that has transformed the standard of care for endometriosis.
Dr. Elena Ratner was next to present, on her research and interest in early detection of ovarian cancer as well as drug development to maximize patients’ quality of life. She spoke about her expertise in minimally invasive procedures and cytoreductive surgery in treating patients in advanced stages of ovarian cancer. Part of her remarks focused on her direction of the Discovery to Cure program, by which her lab develops immunotherapies, combination therapies, and other new drugs to help patients who prove resistant to chemotherapeutic interventions.
After answering a few questions, Dr. Ratner introduced Dr. Santin, who spoke on his work as a gynecologic oncologist with patients who have endometrial and other forms of cancer. He addressed his experience in fighting ovarian cancer with intraperitoneal chemotherapy and his interests in experimental therapeutics, personalized treatment, and immunotherapy. He also touched on his role in developing therapeutic vaccines and antibodies to combat tumors.
At the conclusion of the evening, Dr. Taylor thanked those in attendance for their support of this highly impactful clinical work and research. Among the distinguished group of guests were Ted Sands and his wife, Caroline Coates Herrick, of Guilford, CT; John Levy, DDS, of Orange, CT; and Laurie Ginor of Great Neck, NY, and her father, Dr. Igal Staw. It was an inspiring opportunity for all the guests to gain a more nuanced understanding of the many contributions the Department has made—and is poised to continue make—in these critical aspects of women’s health.