Dr. Möller has focused her career on a variety of malignant thoracic cancers, including mesothelioma, breast cancer, melanoma, and sarcomas. In addition to working at the University of Miami Hospital, Dr. Möller is affiliated with the Sylvester Cancer Center and Jackson Memorial Hospital.
“Clinical studies show HIPEC to be significantly more effective than surgery or chemotherapy alone, so we are able to offer these patients an improved prognosis and quality of life.” —Dr. Möller
Dr. Möller is particularly well-traveled for a surgeon, having worked in Italy, Spain, Ireland, and Nicaragua. Dr. Möller enjoys poetry, music, and theater, and she is fluent in Spanish and English.
Dr. Möller’s Location
Miller School of Medicine
University of Miami
1600 NW 10th Avenue
Miami, FL 33136
Dr. Möller’s Career Highlights
- Developer and leader of HIPEC peritoneal malignancies program at University of Miami Hospital
- Associate Professor of Surgery at the University of Miami Hospital, Sylvester Cancer Center, and Jackson Memorial Hospital
- Performed surgeries in numerous foreign countries, including Italy, Ireland, and Nicaragua
Dr. Möller’s Background
Dr. Mecker Möller completed her MD at the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua, before joining the internship and general residency programs at the University of Michigan. Dr. Möller then completed a clinical fellowship in surgical oncology at the respected H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center from 2006 to 2008, followed by a research fellowship in surgical oncology at the same center until 2009.
Dr. Möller has performed clinical work at several international hospitals, taking advantage of opportunities to pursue a wide variety of specialties in foreign countries. For example, she pursued graduate studies in Valladolid, Spain, was a primary care physician in Managua, Nicaragua, and practiced electrochemotherapy in Cork, Ireland. Her studies also took her to Milan and Barcelona, while some of her research has focused on the unique challenges faced by surgeons abroad.
In October of 2008, Dr. Möller joined the University of Miami as an academic surgical oncologist. She holds this position to this day, teaching students everything she knows about mesothelioma and melanoma.
In early 2011, Dr. Möller was also recruited to develop and lead the heated chemotherapy program for peritoneal surface malignancies at the University of Miami Hospital. In mid-2012, she extended the program to include Jackson Memorial Hospital, enabling more patients to receive this innovative mesothelioma treatment.
Dr. Möller is one of the world’s leading experts in hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemoperfusion (HIPEC), also called heated chemotherapy, for peritoneal mesothelioma patients. In the HIPEC procedure, a heated chemo solution is applied directly to the abdomen after all visible cancer tumors are removed.
“What the procedure does is increase your disease-free survival, and it has been proven that it’s better than giving the IV chemotherapy.” —Dr. Möller.
The process allows the chemotherapy to reach all the areas and crevices in the abdomen, helping destroy any microscopic cancer cells left behind after surgery. HIPEC also allows for a higher concentration of chemotherapy than is possible with traditional oral or intravenous chemo options.
Dr. Möller is board-certified in general surgery and has several areas of surgical focus, primarily relating to thoracic oncology. These focus areas include mesothelioma, melanoma, sarcomas, small bowel cancer, abdominal and peritoneal carcinomatosis, appendiceal cancer, and breast cancer.
Dr. Möller’s Career Accomplishments
Dr. Möller has led an accomplished career, making significant contributions to the medical community as both a clinical surgeon and academic researcher. One of Dr. Möllerr’s most memorable accomplishments was the creation and leadership of the University of Miami’s HIPEC program, which now operates out of Jackson Memorial Hospital as well.
Awards & Honours
- Pino Cascinelli Melanoma Memorial Award for Young Investigators
- Academic Exchange Scholar – Red Cross Integrative Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine Hospital
- Traveling Fellow Grant Award – European Society for Clinical Investigation
- Oncology Fellow Scholarship Award – Physician Education Resources
- First Place Award in Basic Sciences – Michigan State University Research Forum
- Founder’s Trust Community Impact Award
- First place research prize – XI Central American Congress of Medical Students
- American College of Surgeons Fellow
Dr. Möller’s Current Work
Dr. Mecker Möller currently works as a surgical oncologist at the University of Miami Health System. She operates out of several hospitals, including the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and Jackson Memorial Hospital, and currently leads the HIPEC treatment program at the University of Miami Hospital.
Dr. Möller is also an accomplished academic, sharing her expertise in mesothelioma and other peritoneal conditions with surgeons across the nation. She teaches at the Miller School of Medicine and performs surgery alongside surgical residents.
Notable Work by Dr. Möller
Dr. Möller is currently conducting an innovative clinical trial based out of the University of Miami, which attempts to understand how cancer cells grow and stop them from doing so.
Cancer stem cell theory believes that cancer can differentiate itself as it grows, creating numerous types of cells within a single tumor. This diversity of cells makes current therapies less effective. While cancer therapy may be able to eliminate one or more type of cancer cell, tumors have the ability to replace destroyed cells with a different and more resilient variety of cells. In other words, chemotherapy or radiation therapy may suddenly stop working.
However, research indicates that these cells grow in the first place because of cell signaling pathways, which tell a cell to reproduce. Dr. Möller and the scientific community believe that interrupting the pathways’ ability to generate cancer cells can help prevent cancer growth and potentially cure it entirely.
In this study, researchers are investing the link between Nack, a protein, and Notch, a signal pathway. It appears that Nack amplifies the ability for Notch to grow cancer cells, and is a required component for the growth of certain cells.
Research into this type of cell growth is particularly important for mesothelioma patients, as it’s a cancer that doesn’t typically respond well to traditional treatments and has a high recurrence rate. Cell manipulation may be the solution to this ongoing challenge in mesothelioma treatment.
The clinical portion of the study wrapped up in December 2017 and final results are expected in 2020.
Dr. Möller’s Healing Philosophy
Mesothelioma patients who work with Dr. Möller can expect a phenomenal quality of care. Dr. Möller has spent a notable portion of her career working at the University of Miami Hospital and therefore follows its mission and core values during her clinical and academic work.
The University of Miami Hospital attempts to deliver compassionate, high-caliber patient care while advancing treatment options through innovative research. As a teaching hospital, the University of Miami Hospital also educates the future healthcare leaders of America.
The University of Miami has seven core values that help shape the facility’s approach to medical care. These core values are diversity, integrity, responsibility, excellence, compassion, creativity, and teamwork.
If you’re interested in working with Dr. Möller for your peritoneal mesothelioma treatment, contact Mesothelioma Hope today.