A Focus on Faculty: Highlighting a Range of Expertise
Tanaka J. Dune, MD
Originally from Zimbabwe, Tanaka J. Dune, MD, moved to Canada with her family. As she considered her future, she was certain it would lie in some branch of medicine. “At Queens University in Ontario I received a degree in life sciences and it was there I made the decision to become a physician,” says Dr. Dune, a urogynecologist at the Center for Female Pelvic Health in the Department of Urology at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center.
Dr. Dune applied to medical schools in the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States. “All were excellent schools, but I remember thinking there’s something different about the U.S.,” she says. “I can go anywhere and do anything if I do my training there.”
Accepted at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Dr. Dune then completed an internship at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center, where she learned about the relatively new subspecialty of urogynecology. “I knew this was the field I was meant to pursue. I was already interested in women’s health and have always wanted to be on the cusp of something new and different.”
After competing a residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Northwestern University in Chicago, she went on to a fellowship in female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery at Loyola University Medical Center. Today Dr. Dune sees patients for the evaluation and treatment of a wide variety of pelvic floor disorders and urogynecologic conditions, including urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, frequent urinary tract infections, fistulas, complications of vaginal mesh or slings requiring mesh removal, as well as complex gynecologic conditions.
“One of the biggest advances in the last 20 years has been the advent of the transvaginal tape sling in treating stress urinary incontinence,” says Dr. Dune. “Other new techniques for example, InterStim®, a neuromodulator for urgency incontinence, has also made a big difference in patients’ quality of life.”
According to Dr. Dune, collaboration with other specialties is critical in caring for all of the healthcare needs of her patients. “I believe in treating the whole woman,” she says. “I’m also very interested in holistic approaches, including acupuncture, and working with pelvic floor physical therapists. There are other ways to treat patients without directly going to surgery and I respect those.”
As an obstetrician and gynecologist with additional training in urogynecology, Dr. Dune appreciates the blending of specialties that has allowed her to address many issues affecting women. “I have never been afraid of pushing boundaries and going to that next step, especially if it benefits women.”
Timothy D. McClure, MD
A dually trained urologist and interventional radiologist, Timothy D. McClure, MD, brings a unique combination of expertise to the Departments of Urology and Radiology at NewYork-Presbyterian/ Weill Cornell Medical Center, where he is leading the development of the Urology Department’s Image-Guided Therapy Program. “Our goal is to build a program of clinical studies investigating focal therapies such as high-intensity focused ultrasound and/or cryoblation in the management of prostate and kidney cancer,” says Dr. McClure, a member of The LeFrak Center for Robotic Surgery and the Center for Prostate Cancer Imaging, Diagnosis and Focused Therapy. “I think the future holds a role for focal therapy which may minimize the risk of side effects previously associated with surgery or radiation therapy for urological cancers. This is a promising area of growth within urology and interventional radiology.”
Dr. McClure is currently involved in a number of studies, including a multicenter clinical trial evaluating MR-guided focused ultrasound in the treatment of intermediate risk, localized prostate cancer; a prospective study of focal therapy outcomes in prostate cancer; and the application of ablation to kidney cancers. In addition, he is working with Weill Cornell colleagues on the application of newer imaging and biopsy techniques to facilitate diagnosis and guide treatment, such as fusion biopsy for prostate cancer and kidney biopsy for the detection of kidney cancer.
Dr. McClure also provides expertise in minimally invasive approaches to kidney cancer, applying similar algorithms as are used in prostate cancer, from active surveillance, biopsy, or ablation. “Oftentimes patients present with a renal mass or a renal mass that is in a position such that if you were to proceed with surgery the patient might lose the kidney,” notes Dr. McClure. “Rather than immediately going to surgery, we will do a biopsy to determine the pathology of the renal mass. This knowledge allows us to make informed treatment plans which frequently change management as there is an ~20 percent chance that the tumor is benign and surgery can be avoided.”