Cancer Center

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Fox Chase Cancer Center

Fox Chase Cancer Center

In 1974, the state of Pennsylvania opened the Fox Chase Cancer Center, one of the nation’s most revered facilities for cancer treatment and research. This nonprofit, independently functioning institution was conceived at the merging of two of the country’s oldest cancer treatment hospitals: American Oncologic Hospital, which was treating patients as far back as 1904, and the world-famous Institute for Cancer Research.

The original mission of the American Oncological Hospital is nurtured in the Fox Chase Cancer Center’s approach to cancer research and clinical trials. The American Oncological Hospital was one of the first and foremost hospitals in the entire country to specialize in cancer research and care; they were also one of the first institutions to place cancer research at the forefront of their specialties.

Fox Chase Cancer Center has held up the pioneering spirit of the Institute for Cancer Research, which in 1953 opened the nation’s very first cobalt radiation therapy machine for the treatment of cancer. Fox Chase Cancer Center remains today as the region’s only cancer hospital entirely focused on the research, treatment, and prevention of every single type of cancer. The center is respected nationwide as a forward-thinking leader in radiation, medical, and surgical cancer treatment.

One of Fox Chase’s greatest strengths is the stress it places upon mesothelioma and lung cancer. In order to address these aggressive diseases, the cancer center houses a huge team of multidisciplinary experts. These experts include Prashant C. Shah, M.D., a thoracic surgeon who specialises in the surgical management of mesothelioma.

Dr. Prashant C. Shah is also an expert in treating all varieties of chest diseases. Gregory Michael Lubiniecki, M.D., a medical oncologist, also specializes in patients that have lung cancer as well as mesothelioma, with interests in the cutting-edge therapies that are being developed for these cancers. Joseph Treat, M.D., is a medical oncologists who solely deals with those who are dealing with mesothelioma or lung cancer diagnoses.

Together, these medical professionals form a world-class team that uses an integrative, communicative approach towards treatment, research, and general science.

In addition to this team of physicians who diagnose, treat, and care for patients with these thoracic diseases, Fox Chase Cancer Center takes special pride in its research capabilities and commitment towards discovering new treatments. In particular, Fox Chase is a specialist in the research of mesothelioma, headed by Joseph Testa, Ph.D., a renowned scientist exploring the deeply-rooted genetic origins of the rare disease and methods for early treatment as well as early detection.

The Testa group’s laboratory was the first to develop a “mouse” model that highlights numerous, highly specific, molecular features of mesothelioma in humans Such a model helps to provide a much better understanding of tumor formation and is also used to pioneer cutting-edge therapies for treating the thoracic ailment.

Treatment Options

Patients with mesothelioma and other lung cancers have a variety of treatment options open to them, including radiation therapy, surgery, and chemotherapy. For the earliest stages of mesothelioma patients, Fox Chase Cancer Center utilizes an individualized surgical approach tailored towards the patient’s general health as well as other important factors. Surgery upon the ailment is most often followed by radiation, and then by chemotherapy. The center also offers chemotherapy to patients with aggressive, late-stage mesothelioma in order to boost their survival rates.

Patients at the Fox Chase Cancer Center receive specifically tailored, personalized care from a world-class team of cancer specialists and researchers. The team regularly collaborates and mulls over each individual patient’s case and develops a specific treatment plan catered towards the patient, which occasionally incorporates experimental and advanced treatment techniques.

Such treatment plans can include:

  • Induction therapy, which reduces the size of tumors through the use of radiation or chemotherapy in order to improve the results of surgery

  • Intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) and stereotactic radiotherapy, radiation therapies which offer more concentrated and accurate doses as well as spare healthy organs from the potentially destructive capabilites of radiation therapy

  • Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) techniques

  • Radiofrequency ablation

  • Robot-assisted thoracic surgery

  • Photodynamic therapy


Many national and international cancer research experts call this relatively small, one-hundred bed hospital home. The research programs the Fox Chase Cancer Center span many different disciplines, some of which include cancer biology, blood cell development, molecular therapeutics, cancer control, blood cell function, molecular epigenetics, and cancer prevention.

In 2012, the Fox Chase Cancer Center joined the Temple University Health System. This move allowed for the center to expand professionally, adding fifty new researchers from Temple University’s School of Medicine to the center’s world famous cancer research institution. This center frequently collaborates with seven partner institutions located throughout the state of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, which Fox Chase selected due to their outstanding commitment to cancer research and care.

With more options for high-quality hospitals and sister institutions nearby, patients throughout the Northeast of America gain wider reaching access to incredible, world-class cancer care, clinical trials, and phase II and III treatment studies.

The Fox Chase Cancer Center’s community collaborators are:

  • Atlanticare, which contains two locations in New Jersey

  • Crozer-Keystone Health System which contains five locations in Pennsylvania

  • Easton Hospital, located in Easton, Pennsylvania

  • Grand View Hospital, located in Sellersville, Pennsylvania

  • Hunterdon Medical Center, located in Flemington, New Jersey

  • Paoli Hospital, located in Paoli, Pennsylvania

  • Pottstown Memorial Medical Center, located in Pottstown, Pennsylvania

In addition to all these world-class facilities, the Fox Chase Cancer Center shares its technological resources as well as its expertise with the American Russian Cancer Alliance. This alliance is a unique partnership between the two countries, who are typically ideologically opposed. The program pools resources in order to advance cancer research, which should be seen as a fight that transcends country boundaries. The program’s latest initiatives include cutting-edge research on tobacco research as well as molecular imaging techniques.

Clinical Trials

At every given time, there are over two-hundred clinical trials in progress at the Fox Chase Cancer Center, including cancer prevention studies, novel treatments, and world-class, cutting edge diagnostic techniques. Researchers at the Fox Chase Center are continually conducting multiple trials in order to benefit patients with mesothelioma and other lung cancer ailments.

Many of these trials are currently recruiting mesothelioma patients or they will be recruiting mesothelioma patients soon. These trials include the following:

LEE011 Signature Trial

The goal of this specific phase II trial is to determine the efficacy as well as safety of LEE011, an experimental cancer treatment drug that targets genes that many researchers have recently suspected drives the growth of cancer. The participants must have previously received a form of treatment that they did not respond to and must have had tumors within one of the following specific genetic mutations: Cyclin D3 amplification, p16 mutation, Cyclin D1 amplification, CDK6 amplification or mutation,or CDK4 amplification or mutation.

Pemetrexed Disodium/Observation in Treating Patients with Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma

This phase II trial, a randomized clinic, will observe how effectively pemetrexed disodium or observation works in treating pleural mesothelioma patients whose cancer did not progress after the first-line treatment of chemotherapy. Occasionally, some patients will receive treatment with pemetrexed. Others in the trail will undergo observation until the cancer begins to progress. The main goal of the clinic is to decide if maintenance therapy with pemetrexed improves progression-free survival.

Completed Clinical Trials

Cutting-edge, groundbreaking research on mesothelioma, lung cancer, and other thoracic ailments is not new to the Fox Chase Cancer Center. Former research at the center to improve the standard of treatment for these ailments include:

  • Interferon Alfa, Cisplatin, Surgery and Radiation Therapy in Treating Patients with Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma

  • Studies of MORAb-009 in Subjects with Pancreatic Cancer, Mesothelioma or Certain Types of Ovarian or Lung Cancer

  • Educational Printed Materials for Patients Finishing Treatment for Stage I, Stage II, or Stage IIIA Breast Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Prostate Cancer or Chest Cancer

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