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Bon Secours Cancer Institute Launches Center of Excellence for Peritoneal Surface Malignancies

The Bon Secours Cancer Institute is launching a Center of Excellence for Peritoneal Surface Malignancies. Led by nationally recognized surgical oncologist Dr. Itzhak Avital, M.D., the Center will study and apply the latest evidence-based treatments for cancer of the surface of the peritoneum, the tissue that makes up the inner lining of the abdomen. Often cancers of the other abdominal organs, including the colon, ovaries and appendix, spread to this tissue. Days ago, Dr. Avital performed the first hyperthermic intraoperative peritoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) in central Virginia. The Bon Secours Cancer Institute is one of a small group of facilities in the nation to offer this highly specialized treatment.

“For many patients with peritoneal surface malignancies and various types of gastric cancer, HIPEC is the only way to extend their lives,” said Itzak Avital, M.D., executive medical director of the Bon Secours Cancer Institute. “Through the Center of Excellence, we will continue to follow the latest in evidence-based treatments for these types of cancer to benefit our patients at Bon Secours Virginia.”

Peritoneal surface malignancies are most often treated with a combination of cytoreductive surgery (CRS) and HIPEC. First, the surgeon physically removes any visible tumors through CRS. Then, while the patient is still in surgery, heated chemotherapy is circulated throughout the affected area in order to destroy tiny, invisible cancer cells. HIPEC allows for extremely high doses of heated chemotherapy in a concentrated area, improving absorption and reducing side effects.

Dr. Avital comes to Bon Secours from the National Cancer Institute, where he served on the faculty. He is a nationally recognized expert in the management of complex, advanced cancers, especially of the hepatobiliary system. He received his medical degree from the New York University School of Medicine andcompleted his surgical residency at Cedars Sinai Medical Center at the UCLA School of Medicine. He completed four postgraduate fellowships, including study of surgical research at the bioartificial liver support laboratory and study of the hepatobiliary system at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. He is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and is listed in the 2012 Guide to America’s Top Surgeons.

“Dr. Avital is a leader in the field of cancer research, surgery and treatment,” said Sherry Fox, vice president of the Bon Secours Cancer Institute. “We are honored to celebrate his leadership of our team by opening this Center of Excellence, which will provide hope for patients and families battling rare cancers.”

The Bon Secours Cancer Institute provides comprehensive, interdisciplinary and evidence-based cancer treatment, as well as support and survivorship programs for oncology patients in central Virginia. Recognized for excellence in cancer care by the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons, the Institute is comprised of highly skilled and specialized cancer specialists, including surgical oncologists, medical oncologists and radiation oncologists.

Watch Dr. Avital describe the HIPEC procedure

About Bon Secours Virginia Health System
Bon Secours Virginia provides good help to thousands of Virginians through a network of hospitals, primary and specialty care practices, ambulatory care sites and continuing care facilities across the Commonwealth. The not-for-profit health system employs about 12,000 people, including nearly 450 physicians as part of the Bon Secours Medical Group.

The fourth largest and only faith-based health system in Virginia, Bon Secours Virginia offers a full range of services including cardiac, women’s, children’s, orthopaedics, oncology, neurosciences and surgery at seven award-winning hospitals.
• Bon Secours Richmond is St. Mary’s Hospital, Memorial Regional Medical Center, Richmond Community Hospital and St. Francis Medical Center.
• Bon Secours Hampton Roads is Maryview Medical Center, DePaul Medical Center and Mary Immaculate Hospital.

About Bon Secours Richmond Foundation
Bon Secours’ ministry of providing good help to those in need is supported by the Bon Secours Richmond Foundation, which raises funds to create healthy communities, advance clinical innovation and provide an extraordinary experience of care.

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