• In 1972, the Division of Gynecologic Oncology in the Department of OB-GYN was founded under William T. Creasman, MD (now at MUSC Women’s Care in South Carolina), the division’s first chief. This coincided with Duke becoming an officially designated Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute, then under the leadership of oncologist William Shingleton, MD.


  • Daniel Clarke-Pearson, MD (now at UNC Chapel Hill) was a pioneer, along with William Creasman, MD, in the prevention of post-operative venous thrombosis in gynecologic oncology. Their key findings, with Duke co-authors Ingrid D. Synan, RN; Wanda Hinshaw, MS; and R. Edward Coleman, MD, were published in Obstetrics & Gynecology in 1984.
  • In 1986, Daniel Clarke-Pearson, MD, was named the next chief of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology.
  • William Creasman, MD, who’d directed the division until 1986, led a Gynecologic Oncology Group (a national consortium of institutions and investigators) study that pioneered the development of surgical staging for uterine cancer, which included pelvic and aortic lymph node sampling. The results were published in Cancer in 1987. (Duke co-authors included C. Paul Morrow, MD; Brian Bundy, PhD; Howard Homesely, MD; James E. Graham, MD; and Paul Heller, MD.


  • Jeffrey Marks, PhD, and Andrew Berchuck, MD, with Duke co-authors Andrew M Davidoff; Billie Joe Kerns; Peter A. Humphrey; John C. Pence; Richard K. Dodge; Daniel Clarke-Pearson, MD; James Iglehart, MD; and Robert C Bast Jr, reported for the first time on the role of overexpression and mutation of the TP53 gene in epithelial ovarian cancer. The findings were published in Cancer Research in 1991.
  • Andrew Berchuck, MD, along with Duke co-authors James Iglehart, MD (now at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute), and Jeffrey Marks, PhD, were part of the research group that discovered that mutations in the BRCA1 gene is a driver of breast and ovarian cancers. Their findings were published in Science in 1994.
  • In 1995, Andrew Berchuck, MD, with Kelly Marcom, MD, helped establish the Duke Hereditary Breast-Ovarian Cancer Clinic.




The above special feature was originally published on the Duke Cancer Institute Blog on September 17, 2022.