They include gastroenterologists, surgical oncologists, radiation oncologists and medical oncologists. They offer state-of-the-art evaluation and treatment within the confines of a National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center.
The benefits of our multidisciplinary and highly experienced teams include:
- Access to doctors and surgeons who rank among the top cancer experts in the world.
- Diagnostic specialists in endoscopic ultrasound.
- Thoracic surgeons specializing in minimally invasive treatments.
- Expertise in esophageal stenting.
- Weekly review of patient cases by the full team of experts.
- Coordinated scheduling for appointments among various specialties.
- Access to a nurse navigator to assist you throughout the treatment process.
- Access to support programs and groups for you and your caregivers.
- Availability of new treatment options through clinical trials in radiation and systemic therapy.
Smoking and alcohol consumption are major risk factors for squamous cell carcinoma, a subtype of esophageal cancer that begins in the cell lining. Esophageal adenocarcinoma begins in the cells that make mucus and other fluids. The incidence has dramatically increased in recent years, especially among young men.
The following tests may be used during diagnosis:
Barium swallow: a patient drinks a liquid that contains barium. The substance coats the esophagus and x-rays are taken
Esophagoscopy: a thin, lighted scope is inserted through the mouth or nose and down the throat into the esophagus to look for abnormal areas
Biopsy: a biopsy is usually done during an esophagoscopy
The stage of your disease indicates how much it has spread through the layers of the wall of your esophagus and whether it has spread to other organs and lymph nodes. Early stage cancer is disease limited to the esophageal wall and the adjacent lymph nodes. Late stage cancer indicates spread to other organs like liver, lung or bone. Determining the stage of your cancer will affect your treatment plan. Your Winship care team may use one or more tests and procedures to determine the stage of your cancer including a blood test, biopsy, colonoscopy, endoscopic ultrasound and imaging tests.
Endoscopic ultrasound is a procedure that determines the stage of esophageal cancer in a patient. This method uses a high frequency ultrasound transducer to provide detailed images of esophageal mass and its relationship with the five-layered structure of the esophageal wall.
Surgery: Surgery is used for patients with early stage disease. Surgery options range from minimally invasive procedures such as endoscopic resection or laparoscopic esophageal resection to more traditional open surgical resections. Surgery may be performed after radiation and chemotherapy in selected cases. The management of early stage esophageal cancer requires the collaboration of a specialized multidisciplinary team that includes surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists and radiologists.
Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy drugs kill or slow the growth of cancer cells. Chemotherapy may be used in combination with surgery or radiation to maximize the treatment. In addition to standard chemotherapy, participating in a clinical trial may be an option in certain cases. Clinical trials provide patients access to new medications that are being developed to treat esophageal cancer.
Radiation: cutting edge therapies such as radiofrequency ablation, Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy (IMRT) and esophageal brachytherapy may be used as treatment for esophageal cancer.
Targeted therapies: Winship’s most promising research in treating esophageal cancer is in personalized medicine and targeted therapies. In personalized medicine, researchers identify unique characteristics of tumors that make them vulnerable to known drugs so therapy can be tailored to an individual’s cancer. In targeted therapies, investigators look for new drugs that more selectively target cancer cells with fewer side effects.
In addition to delivering the highest quality medical care, we recognize the importance of the psychological and emotional aspects of living with a cancer diagnosis and of dealing with treatment. Our supportive oncology team addresses these issues in a timely manner with additional support from counselors, nurse navigators, dietitians and social service professionals.
Your Treatment Team
- Dr. Cardona is a board certified surgeon and surgical oncologist who specializes in the management of complex gastrointestinal malignancies (such as stomach, pancreas, and liver cancers) and is an expert in the treatment of sarcomas.
- Co-Chair Gastrointestinal Oncology Working Group, Emory University Hospital Midtown
- (404) 686-3203
- Located at Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital, Dr. Sancheti specializes in thoracic oncology, minimally invasive thoracic surgery, esophageal surgery, and lung transplantation.
- Assistant Professor of Surgery, Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Department of Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine
- (404) 778-1900
- Dr. Staley leads the surgical oncology team at Winship. He works collaboratively with the Executive Director and Deputy Director to coordinate and enhance clinical services and patient care throughout Winship and its clinical campuses.
- Associate Director for Clinical Affairs, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University
- (404) 778-0210
- Dr. Vainshtein treats patients with head and neck cancer, gastrointestinal malignancies, thoracic malignancies and sarcomas at both Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital and Emory University Hospital.
- Instructor, Clinical Track, Department of Radiation Oncology, Emory University School of Medicine
- (404) 778-1900
- Dr. Winer's specialties include HIPEC, laparoscopic and robotic pancreas, liver, and gastric resections, and minimally invasive colon surgery.
- Assistant Professor, Division of Surgical Oncology, Department of Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine
- (404) 778-8377