Dr. Lynn Dengel is a board-certified and fellowship-trained surgical oncologist specializing in breast cancer and melanoma.  She is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Surgical Oncology at the University of Virginia and practices as a breast and melanoma surgeon at Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital in Charlottesville, Virginia.   Dr. Dengel cares for patients in a robust multidisciplinary fashion, utilizes state of the art technology, incorporates up-to-date research findings and takes time to provide education and counseling to her patients to provide outstanding clinical care.

Dr. Dengel is recognized by her peers as an expert in breast disease and melanoma.  She serves as a committee member for both the Society of Surgical Oncology and the American Society of Breast Surgeons.  She has authored and co-authored several articles in leading peer-reviewed publications, including the Annals of Surgical Oncology, Journal of Clinical Oncology, and Annals of Surgery.  Dr. Dengel has received recognition for her outstanding research, including the Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO Merit Award, supported by Susan G. Komen for the Cure, and the Harvey Baker Traveling Fellow Award from the Society of Surgical Oncology. 

Research expertise:
Dr. Dengel’s research and expertise include translational studies and clinical trials  investigating the immune environment at tumor sites and mechanisms that may bolster innate immune response. She is the Principal Investigator of a clinical trial investigating focused ultrasound ablation combined with immunotherapy in advanced solid tumors.  Dr. Dengel also serves as lead investigator in multiple studies investigating patient decision making, specifically aiming to improve the process of shared decision making and decreasing decisional regret for patients considering prophylactic mastectomy.  

Training and education:
Dr. Dengel completed a breast surgery fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York after finishing her general surgery residency at the University of Virginia Hospital Medical Center in Charlottesville, VA, where she received the Award of Academic Excellence from the department of surgery.  Dr. Dengel received her medical degree from the Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington D.C. where she graduated cum laude and was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society. Prior to medical school, she received her undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College.


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Despite success of systemic immunotherapy, the majority of patients (60-80%) do not respond to current therapies and are in need of alternate treatment options. Understanding the tumor microenvironment and how we bolster immunity at the tumor is key to expanding success of immunotherapy. There are pre-clinical and clinical data to support focused ultrasound ablation (FUSA) as a mechanism to enhance the immune response by releasing tumor antigens and shifting the balance to a pro-immune state. In addition, FUSA has the potential to enhance immunologic control of malignancy beyond the site of ablation.

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