AHN provides cutting edge cancer care through a diverse team of specialists
Cancer is an enemy with many faces. The disease takes on different forms and attacks nearly every part of the body, from our skin to our organs, from our bones to our blood. No two cases are exactly alike.
To combat a disease this insidious, it takes a team of specialists from a variety of backgrounds versed in a wide array of approaches, treatments, and therapies. And fortunately for the people of Western Pennsylvania, the AHN Cancer Institute has assembled just such a group of world-class cancer specialists that can tackle cancer from every angle and provide the best possible care.
The AHN Cancer Institute employs more than 200 physicians and 500 advanced-practice oncology professionals who provide a complete spectrum of care. There are 24 community institute locations, a network that has ensures access to the latest technologies and therapies throughout western Pennsylvania — the finest cancer care is never far from home.
The expertise starts at the top with AHN Cancer Institute System Chair David Bartlett, MD. Dr. Bartlett is a renowned cancer researcher and clinician who came to AHN from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, where he held leadership positions in research and surgical oncology.
Dr. Bartlett specializes in advanced surgical treatments for abdominal cancers and has been at the forefront of developing and refining several new therapies. He is well known for his work to modernize a method of hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemoperfusion (HIPEC) therapy, in which chemotherapeutic drugs are heated and delivered directly to the abdominal cavity to target and eradicate cancer cells. For the last 25 years, he has also been researching ways in which some replicating viruses can be trained or mutated to selectively damage, injure, and kill cancer cells.
Under Dr. Bartlett’s leadership, AHN has not only opened the Academic Center at Allegheny General, but also cut the ribbon on a new Clinical Genomics Laboratory, which offers next-generation gene sequencing that can guide physicians to the best treatment for each unique patient. The Cancer Institute has begun offering two highly advanced radiation treatments—the Unity MR-Linac (personalized radiation for specific tumor characteristics) and GammaPod (the first radiation treatment exclusively for breast cancer patients)—both of which are only available at select few centers in the U.S.
Breast cancer patients at AHN will also benefit from the expertise of Jill Dietz, MD, FACS, a nationally recognized breast surgeon that the Cancer Institute recently brought in as its Chief Transformation Officer and Director of Breast Growth and Strategy. Dr. Dietz has previously led breast centers at University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Washington University, Barnes Jewish Hospital, the Cleveland Clinic, and University Hospitals of Cleveland.
Dr. Dietz has built her career on disseminating the most up-to-date breast cancer information, standards, and practices to clinicians all over the world. She just completed a two-year term as President of the American Society of Breast Surgeons, where she spearheaded the creation of a robust virtual education platform for the organization’s 3,200 members. She also formed the COVID-19 Pandemic Breast Cancer Consortium, pulling together cancer leaders from all over the country to quickly publish “Guidelines for the Prioritization and Treatment of Breast Cancer during the Pandemic.” And Dr. Dietz co-developed the “Global Breast Hub,” the first worldwide platform for the gathering and sharing of data and best practices to address gaps in breast cancer care.
She brings a unique combination of clinical excellence, innovating thinking and clinical operations expertise to our organization,” says Dr. Bartlett. “We look forward to the positive impact it will have on the quality and scope of care that we offer to cancer patients.
Joining Dr. Dietz in leadership and guidance for breast cancer care, as well as focusing on treatment of gynecologic and prostate cancers, is Sushil Beriwal, MD, MBA. The former deputy director of radiation services and director of brachytherapy at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, Dr. Beriwal assumes the role of Academic Chief of Radiation Oncology at AHN Cancer Institute.
Dr. Beriwal’s focus is in high-dose brachytherapy for cervix, uterine, vaginal, and breast cancers. He also researches prostate seed implantation, image-guided radiation, and intensity-modulated radiation therapy. He is a fellow of the American Brachytherapy Society and been an integral part of formulating the organization’s guidelines for management of cervix, endometrium, and vaginal cancer. His current clinical research includes 3D image-based brachytherapy and outcome analysis for breast, prostate, and gynecological cancers.
Another recruit to AHN focusing on pancreatic cancer is Nathan Bahary, MD, PhD. A medical oncologist, Dr. Bahary was most recently the Medical Director of the Pancreatic Cancer Program, Co-Director of the UPMC Pancreatic Cancer Center of Excellence and Co-Director of the UPMC Phase II Program. He is world renowned for his research and clinical advancements in the field gastrointestinal cancers.
Dr. Bahary is a member of the NCI Pancreatic Task Force, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group, and the American Society of Clinical Oncology, just to name a few. He has received numerous awards and recognitions, including the prestigious PCRT Award of Excellence and the National Pancreas Foundation Courage Award.
At AHN Dr. Bahary will serve as Academic Chief of Medical Oncology and Director of the Institute’s clinical research program. His own research has looked at vertebrate development to determine how cancers grow. Those observations will lead to clinical trials at AHN that are expected to yield new targeted agents and immunological strategies for treating cancer.
Through their research, our team is dedicated to finding new and better ways to attack cancer and change our patients’ lives for the better.
“We are thrilled to welcome these exceptionally talented and accomplished cancer specialists to our team,” says Dr. Bartlett. “Through their research, our team is dedicated to finding new and better ways to attack cancer and change our patients’ lives for the better.”
After all that is the mission of AHN Cancer Institute: To deliver the best possible treatment and outcomes and improve the daily lives of the people of western Pennsylvania. And with team of specialists AHN has in place, cancer may have finally met its match.