Elena Ratner, MD, is a gynecologic oncologist specializing in ovarian malignancies. An advocate for cancer survivors, she is also co-founder and director of the Yale Medicine Sexual, Intimacy and Menopause Program (SIMS), one of the first programs in the country to focus on supporting cancer survivors coping with issues that may not be discussed in the other clinical settings.
More than 22,000 American women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year. As a clinician working with these patients, Dr. Ratner stresses the importance of social networks during treatment, and helps facilitate one-on-one mentoring for those currently receiving treatment and those who have completed treatment. “We want these women to receive personal attention from somebody who has gone through this treatment before,” she says. “It is so important for women who need to know that they are not alone in this fight.”
Dr. Ratner is an associate professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at Yale School of Medicine. Her clinical research focuses on new targeted drugs for ovarian cancer that will provide truly personalized care, and on reversing chemotherapy resistance in ovarian and uterine cancers. She also studies chemotherapy targeted drug development, quality-of-life programs for patients and early cancer detection. Dr. Ratner is a recipient of multiple awards, including the 2015 Yale Cancer Center Award for Clinical Excellence.