Broward Health North Comprehensive Cancer Center 

Jorge Hurtado, MD
Jorge Hurtado, M.D., hematologist and oncologist, is redefining the way cancer is treated at Broward Health North’s Comprehensive Cancer Center. Hurtado and the cancer team focus on using sophisticated scientific cancer research combined with groundbreaking genetic testing to develop individualized, patient-focused, comprehensive cancer treatment plans.
“Practicing precision medicine with molecular profiling in a majority of solid and liquid tumors,” said Hurtado, “allows my colleagues and me to develop customized treatment plans of targeted therapy, immunotherapy or chemo-immunotherapy to deliver the maximum clinical benefit to our patients. We are committed to providing effective side effect management.”
Utilizing advanced technologies, such as liquid biopsy and both somatic and germline next generation gene sequencing, enables a customized treatment plan for each patient.
“This provides optimal results in with a wide variety of tumor types ranging from lung, breast and colon to more rare entities such as sarcomas,” Hurtado said.
Board certified in internal medicine, hematology and medical oncology, Hurtado encourages those he’s treating to remain hopeful, since new discoveries and treatments are always being developed. It is something he has seen firsthand as a researcher and principal investigator on a number of academic studies.
Hurtado, has been working with the team at the Broward Health North’s Cancer Center since December 2017. Together they are focusing on cancer research to one day find breakthroughs that will hopefully cure all types of cancer.
Broward Health Medical Center
Mehmet Hepgur, MD
Broward Health Medical Center’s hematologist oncologist, Mehmet Hepgur, M.D., is using innovative therapy treatment based on genetic and other biomolecular studies. In the last three years, Hepgur has seen patients with stage 4 cancer go into complete remission with the use of next-generation sequencing (NGS) and immunotherapy.
NGS was historically a difficult and costly test, but now it is accessible to every stage 4 cancer patient in his care. The procedure involves sending the patient’s tumor tissue – or in some cases blood cells – to a lab where the whole genome is sequenced and analyzed. A report showing the mapping of the patient’s gene then enables Hepgur to identify certain cancer mutations in the gene. He can then prescribe a certain drug for the patient that can specifically target that cancer mutation.
“In the past, all patients received standard chemotherapy for lung cancer, but it turns out not all lung cancers are the same essentially,” said Hepgur. “Some lung cancers may have different mutations and thus benefit from different drugs. We tailor the treatment based on that information.”
Immunotherapy is another treatment option used by Hepgur. Immunotherapy uses the patient’s immune system to fight the cancer and also strengthens the immune system fighting those cancer cells. In some cases, the tumor never returns.
“Cancer is very clever and can find a way to disguise itself against the immune system and thus grow and spread,” said Hepgur. “With immunotherapy, we essentially utilize a certain drug that removes the disguise between the immune system and cancer cells.”
Jupiter Medical Center
Shanel Bhagwandin, DO
Dr. Shanel Bhagwandin is the medical director of the Gastrointestinal Surgical Oncology Program at Jupiter Medical Center. He also is medical director of Surgical Oncology Network Development the Mount Sinai Hospital New York. A graduate of Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, Dr. Bhagwandin completed his general surgery residency at the University of Illinois at Chicago and his fellowship training at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York. He is board certified in general surgery and in complex general surgical oncology. Dr. Bhagwandin’s clinical and research interests include the diagnosis and treatment of complex malignancies of the liver, pancreas, and biliary tract, in addition to gastric and esophageal cancer, colon and rectal cancer, sarcoma, and melanoma. He specializes in the management of advanced peritoneal carcinomatosis through the application of Hyperthermic IntraPeritoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC) and cytoreductive surgery, a technique that combines surgery with circulating hot chemotherapy directly into the abdomen.