David L. Bartlett

David L. Bartlett M.D.

Chief, Division of Surgical Oncology

Specialty: Surgical Oncology
Medical Treatment Center: UPMC Hillman Cancer Center 5115 Centre Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15232

About Dr. Bartlett

“Life-changing medicine” – that is the motto of the University of Pittsburgh’s Medical Center.

As the Chief of the Division of Surgical Oncology at the UMPC Cancer Centers, David L. Bartlett, M.D., plays an important role in the delivery of this motto.

Fast Fact: Dr. Bartlett is involved with groundbreaking genetic research using the smallpox vaccine virus to deliver medicine to tumors.

Bartlett contributed to the development of regional perfusion, a surgical procedure that administers chemotherapeutic drugs directly to the peritoneal cavity. According to Bartlett, the treatment is excellent for patients who have already failed chemotherapy.

“Regional perfusion is a technique where we isolate an organ or region of the body and deliver chemotherapy to that organ or to that region of the body directly, so we use surgical tools to deliver chemotherapy,” Bartlett said in a video segment filmed for the Koch Regional Perfusion Cancer Therapy Center.

Many patients find renewed hope for recovery in this therapy after being told they were incurable through standard chemotherapy.

We have seen dramatic improvements in survival … and we always see an increased response rate.

Bartlett’s expertise has assisted not only patients with advanced peritoneal carcinomas such as peritoneal mesothelioma, but also patients with appendiceal cancers, gastric cancers, colon cancers and ovarian cancers.

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Gene Therapy

While his primary focus has been regional therapeutics, he also has been involved with several experiments involving gene therapy and cancer. He is currently working on a genetically altered version of the smallpox vaccine virus to bring gene therapy directly to cancerous cells.

Bartlett’s research in these life-saving areas has been published in a number of medical journals, including the Annals of Surgical Oncology and Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery. His advice was even sought out by the producers of “Grey’s Anatomy” for an episode in which they wanted to accurately represent one of the surgical procedures Bartlett specializes in.

Bartlett’s Publications

Bartlett’s publications typically focus on the regulation of genes involved with cancer growth, chemotherapy and specialized thoracic surgeries. These articles have appeared in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Annals of Surgical Oncology and the International Journal of Oncology.

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Tim Povtak is an award-winning writer with more than 30 years of reporting national and international news. His specialty is interviewing top mesothelioma specialists and researchers, reporting the latest news at mesothelioma cancer centers and talking with survivors and caregivers.

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