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Date: 22 September 2021
The Sarcoma Unit team
Mr Anant Desai, Consultant Surgeon
Mr Anant Desai completed undergraduate education at Queens’ College Cambridge and the Royal Free Hospital, London.
Following this he gained an MD investigating angiogenesis in oesophageal cancer at the University of Birmingham before completing Fellowships in Paris and Milan. He was appointed as Consultant Surgeon to the Midlands Abdominal and Retroperitoneal Sarcoma Unit in 2011.
Mr Desai undertakes all aspects of abdominal sarcoma surgery as well as complex surgical oncology and surgery for advanced pelvic malignancy.
Research interests include whole genomic sequencing in sarcoma and pre-operative psychological intervention in patients undergoing major surgery. Publications range from International Consensus statements for the treatment of sarcoma to multi-centre studies of rare tumours.
Mr Desai is a member of the Sarcoma UK research advisory committee, is an editor of the European Journal of Surgical Oncology, is co-chair of the West Midlands Sarcoma Advisory Group and leads the regional soft tissue sarcoma multi-disciplinary team.
Mr Sam Ford, Consultant Surgeon
Mr Ford studied undergraduate medicine at the University of Birmingham and graduated with Honours in 2001.
He was the Cancer Research UK Clinical Research Fellow for three years and was awarded a PhD in 2012 for the role of iron in cancer development. He gained fellowship to the Royal College of Surgeons in 2013 and completed his surgical training in 2014 after training in general and upper GI surgery throughout the South West. Mr Ford then undertook clinical fellowships in sarcoma surgery in Birmingham and Milan, with appointment to Consultant Sarcoma Surgeon in 2015.
His specialist interests include complex surgical oncology, especially abdominal, pelvic and retroperitoneal sarcoma.
Mr Ford has published papers on all aspects of upper GI surgery, molecular oncology and soft tissue sarcoma. He has contributed to International Consensus statements on the management of sarcoma and is a member of the Trans-Atlantic Retroperitoneal Sarcoma Working Group.
Professor David Gourevitch, Consultant Surgeon
Professor David Gourevitch was appointed as a consultant surgeon in 1992 after completing his surgical training with dual accreditation in thoracic and upper GI/general surgery. Previously, he had worked in Africa (Mzuzu, Malawi, Durban, South Africa and Nqutu, Kwazulu) and written his MD thesis in vascular surgery.
Originally appointed with a particular interest in upper GI resectional surgery to Sandwell Hospital, his clinical practice was large and encompassed those of the neighbouring hospitals. In addition, he ran a large paediatric surgical service.
His practice was transferred to University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB) in 2003 when he was asked to lead the upper GI service at the teaching hospital. He subsequently established the Midland Abdominal and Retroperitoneal/Pelvic Sarcoma Unit (MARSU) in 2007 and, together with the Bone Sarcoma Service based at Royal Orthopaedic Hospital (ROH), formed the Birmingham Sarcoma Service.
MARSU continues to expand and operates a multi-specialty unit with other surgical specialties based at UHB. The unit supports local and national sarcoma trials and contributes to the 100,000 Genome Project. It has also established a sarcoma fellowship and has close links to the sarcoma centres in Paris and Milan with whom the unit exchanges training surgeons.
Professor Gourevitch has held administrative appointments at UHB and national surgical societies, national committees and the Royal College of Surgeons. He is a non-executive director at the ROH. He continues as the older operating sarcoma surgeon at MARSU.
Mr Max Almond, Consultant Surgeon
Mr Almond completed his undergraduate training at Birmingham Medical School in 2004. In 2010 he was awarded a Royal College of Surgeons Research Fellowship following which he obtained a Doctorate of Medicine, awarded with distinction, for his work on early spectroscopic diagnosis of oesophageal cancer.
Mr Almond completed subspecialty training in resectional oesophagogastric and hepatobiliary surgery in 2016, and then undertook a Royal College of Surgeons Retroperitoneal Sarcoma Fellowship at UHB. This was followed by two travelling fellowships to the Sarcoma Units in Milan and the Royal Marsden Hospital.
Mr Almond’s specialist interests include abdominal, pelvic and retroperitoneal sarcoma, surgery for gastrointestinal neuroendocrine tumours, minimally invasive (laparoscopic) cancer surgery, benign upper gastrointestinal surgery and advanced therapeutic endoscopy including ERCP.
He has published more than sixty research papers and book chapters relating to Sarcoma, Surgical Oncology and General Surgery. He is currently supervising a doctoral student working on objective spectroscopic diagnosis in soft tissue sarcoma. He is also leading several research studies in collaboration with the Sarcoma Unit in Milan through his membership of the Trans-Atlantic Retroperitoneal Sarcoma Working Group.
Dr Philippe Taniere, Consultant Histopathologist
Dr Taniere graduated in Histopathology (MD) from the University of Lyon, France, in 1995. He obtained a PhD at the Unit of Molecular Carcinogenesis at the International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon in 2002.
He has been a consultant histopathologist at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham (QEHB) since 2002, with an interest in gastrointestinal tract pathology, hepatobiliary tract tumours, neuroendocrine tumours and soft tissue sarcomas.
Dr Taniere is the Clinical Service Lead for Molecular Pathology at QEHB. The Molecular Pathology Diagnostic Services (MPDS), which is embedded in Histopathology, is comprised of 18 full-time scientists and technicians. The service offers a wide range of analyses, including DNA and microscopy-based technologies in tissue samples (immunohistochemistry and FISH); ctDNA testing for EGFR mutation has also been validated.
Dr Nayneeta Deshmukh, Consultant Histopathologist
Dr Deshmukh graduated from Mumbai University, India in 1986 and completed MD pathology in 1990. She obtained FRCpath of The Royal college of Pathologists, London in 1994. She specialised in bone and soft tissue sarcomas and been a consultant at The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital, Birmingham from 1998 – 2002.
She has been a consultant at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham since 2003, with special interest in urological, GI and soft tissue sarcoma pathology.
Dr Jenny Sherriff, Consultant Oncologist
Since obtaining her medical degree, MBChB with honours, from the University of Birmingham (2003), Dr Sherriff completed her general medical, MRCP (2007) and subsequent clinical oncology training, FRCR (2011), in the West Midlands.
She began as an oncology consultant in 2013 with specialist interests in sarcoma, breast cancer and advanced radiotherapy techniques, including stereotactic ablative body radiotherapy (SABR), for which she is the clinical lead at UHB.
Dr Sherriff has spent time in Toronto, through the RCR Kay fellowship, developing a specialist interest in SABR for spine metastases. She has a keen interest in research and is currently principal investigator for a number of national and international sarcoma clinical trials at UHB.
Dr Mariam Jafri, Consultant Oncologist
Dr Jafri qualified from the University of Birmingham and completed her postgraduate training in internal medicine in Birmingham obtaining MRCP in 2006.
She received her postgraduate oncology training in Oxford and Birmingham, obtaining her MRCP (Medical Oncology) in 2012. She was awarded an MRC Clinical Training fellowship in cancer genetics under the supervision of Professor Eamonn Maher, obtaining a PhD from the University of Birmingham in 2016.
Dr Jafri was appointed as a consultant in medical oncology in July 2016. Her clinical interests are sarcoma, germ cell tumours and breast cancer.
She is the lead clinician for teenagers and young adults and represents the Midlands on the NHS Clinical Reference Group for Children and Young Adults with Cancer. Her interests include medical oncology training and clinical trials.
Dr David Peake, Consultant Clinical Oncologist
Dr Hassan Douis, Consultant Radiologist
Dr Douis qualified from the University of Bonn, Germany and completed his postgraduate training in internal medicine at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, obtaining MRCP in 2006.
He completed his radiology in Birmingham, obtaining FRCR in 2010. He completed his post-CCT fellowship in musculoskeletal and sarcoma radiology at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, Stanmore, London. He has also visited the musculoskeletal units at Memorial Sloan Kettering, New York and was awarded the European Society of Radiology scholarship to gain further training at the University Hospital Munich.
Dr Douis was a consultant musculoskeletal and sarcoma radiologist at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital between August 2012 and December 2014 before joining the sarcoma and radiology team at UHB in January 2015. He is the UHB radiology sarcoma lead and clinical academic group lead for imaging.
Clinically, Dr Douis' main interests are sarcoma, musculoskeletal imaging, and image-guided diagnostic interventions. He has written more than 40 publications, numerous book chapters and he regularly lectures in national and international meetings. His research interests are in improving the care of sarcoma patients using imaging and he is an editor for the Journal of European Radiology.
Dr Robert Briard, Consultant Radiologist
Dr Briard trained at Southampton University, then completed his house jobs on the south coast before completing his basic surgical training and MRCS in Plymouth.
His radiology training was in Brighton, with three years' core training and two years of sub-specialty interventional radiology. He then completed a one year post-CCT interventional radiology fellowship at the Royal London Hospital, before starting at UHB in September 2013.
Dr Briard's main clinical interest remains interventional radiology and his practice includes vascular, hepatobiliary and venous/renal access work. He is also interested in interventional radiology in trauma and has written a book chapter on the subject, as well as delivering numerous presentations to various learned societies.
Clinical nurse specialists
Fiona Fitzgibbons, Clinical Nurse Specialist
Fiona qualified as a registered general nurse from the University of Central England, Birmingham in 2009. In 2012 she complete her BSC degree in Cancer Care. In 2014 Fiona completed her PGC in Advanced Practice and Assessment.
Fiona spent her early career on the surgical wards at QEHB, looking after sarcoma, upper GI and general surgical patients post-operatively. In 2012, Fiona took the opportunity to develop by taking a secondment as a Macmillan Sarcoma Clinical Nurse Specialist. In 2014 she was lucky enough to be employed full-time in this role. She is a member of the British Sarcoma Group, and has lectured on their nurse educational days. In addition to this she is the lead nurse for the West Midlands Sarcoma Advisory Group, which works towards service development for sarcoma patients in the West Midlands and ensures that patient pathways are streamlined and all sarcoma patients have access to standardised care.
Natalie Harvey, Clinical Nurse Specialist
Natalie qualified as a registered general nurse from the University of Central England, Birmingham in 2001, and in 2005 she received a further BSc Hons with Specialist Practitioner Award.
Her early career was spent working within acute oncology wards at UHB. In 2007, while working as a sister in this setting, she also started a role as Professional Development Sister for Oncology/Haematology. This role helped develop her teaching knowledge which was enhanced in 2009 when she obtained a City and Guilds Diploma in Teaching in the lifelong learning sector.
In 2010 she undertook an MSc in Clinical Oncology (the palliative care and the cancer patient module) to broaden her knowledge and skills for her patients.
Natalie was then appointed as a Macmillan Sarcoma Clinical Nurse Specialist in October 2010 to set up the nursing side of MARSU.
She is a member of the British Sarcoma Group, and has lectured on their nurse educational days as well as developing protocols to enhance patient services.
Fay Prince, Clinical Nurse Specialist
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