Surgical Oncology

The Division of Surgical Oncology focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of solid organ malignancies in a multidisciplinary environment. The Division provides consultative advice and management in head and neck, thoracic, gastrointestinal, musculoskeletal, gynecologic, neurologic, and urologic cancers.

Our members are involved in collaborative basic science and clinical trials research aimed at providing minimally invasive treatment. Our Division also teaches multidisciplinary Surgical Oncology to both undergraduate and graduate students.

Our state-of-the-art operating room supports multidisciplinary therapy, including radionuclide directed surgery, brachytherapy, and laser therapy. We also operate cellular biology, photobiology and laser laboratories.

We train Fellows for the Royal College of Surgeons and Physicians Clinical Investigator Program. Our Division also runs an Elective in Surgical Oncology (ONC 03) for Medical Students, and Preceptorship for General Practitioners caring for cancer patients.


Research Profile:
Dr. McMullen is a surgeon-scientist with a major interest in research. Dr. McMullen's research focuses on developing diagnostic biomarkers and establishing therapeutic targets for metastatic papillary thyroid cancer (PTC). Biomarkers for PTC are needed to aid clinicians in identifying patients at risk of metastatic disease. Blockade of ERK and STAT3 signal transduction pathways may be useful therapeutic targets for metastatic PTC and we have ongoing studies using large tissue microarrays (TMA) from benign thyroid tumors and variants of PTC with and without lymphatic metastases to identify possible drug targets. We also use cell lines and primary cell cultures to outline how genes controlling cell proliferation, apoptosis, invasion and angiogenesis are subverted in metastatic disease. Possible long-term innovations include development of ERK/STAT3 inhibitors for metastatic PTC and other cancers.