The research involvement and interests of Jamie N. Bakkum-Gamez, M.D., include screening and early detection modalities in ovarian cancer and endometrial cancer; prognostic molecular markers in ovarian cancer and endometrial cancer; and quality improvement in postoperative outcomes after ovarian cancer staging surgery.
Dr. Bakkum-Gamez also focuses on prevention of ovarian cancer, fallopian tube cancer and primary peritoneal cancer, and is investigating minimally invasive surgical management of gynecologic cancers.
Additional research involves pathogenesis and risk factor modification in endometrial cancer.
- Screening and early detection modalities in endometrial cancer. Dr. Bakkum-Gamez leads a multidisciplinary team of clinical, translational and basic science researchers from Mayo Clinic and the National Cancer Institute in the discovery and development of a screening and early detection test for endometrial cancer using tampons and other minimally invasive biospecimen collection techniques.
- Oncolytic virotherapy for metastatic endometrial cancer. Dr. Bakkum-Gamez and Kah Whye Peng, Ph.D., lead the investigation of vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) in treating metastatic endometrial cancer. Preclinical experiments have shown this virus is potent against endometrial cancer, and a phase I trial of intravenous VSV is currently under development.
- Quality improvement in postoperative outcomes after ovarian cancer staging surgery. Dr. Bakkum-Gamez and her colleagues in gynecologic surgery have designed several quality improvement projects to improve the value of surgical gynecologic care. To date, these initiatives have decreased surgical site infections, enhanced overall recovery from surgery and decreased the length of needed hospital stay after surgery. They are currently working to decrease transfusion rates and urinary tract infections.
Significance to patient care
There is currently not a screening test for endometrial cancer, even though it is the most common gynecologic cancer in the United States. Dr. Bakkum-Gamez's goal is to develop the first screening and early detection test for this cancer. The impact of an effective screening test for endometrial cancer is a decrease in the disease incidence and improvement in survival from the disease.
Once endometrial cancer metastasizes, it is often challenging to treat and lethal. Novel systemic therapies currently available for metastatic endometrial cancer are desperately needed. Oncolytic vesicular stomatitis virus has impressive activity against endometrial cancer and is a promising novel therapeutic for this cancer.
Quality improvement efforts have improved the value of gynecologic cancer care by reducing complications that are associated with worse survival and higher costs of care.
- Co-lead, Women's Cancer Program, Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Cancer Center, 2016-present
- Member, National Comprehensive Cancer Network Ovarian Cancer Guidelines Committee (representing Mayo Clinic), 2015-present
- Member, Uterine Corpus Cancer Subcommittee, NRG Oncology, 2015-present
- Member, Data and Safety Monitoring Board, Department of Surgery, Mayo Clinic, 2013-present