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Recent Press Releases:

The power of protons

(May 29, 2024)

The Roberts Proton Therapy Center at Penn Medicine’s Abramson Cancer Center opened in 2010 as the largest and busiest center in the world for proton therapy. That’s still true today, with more than 100 patients coming for treatment each day. Over the past two years, Penn Medicine has also expanded access to the specialized therapy by opening proton centers at Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health in Lancaster.  James Metz, MD, chair and Henry K. Pancoast Professor of Radiation Oncology at the Perelman School of Medicine said “Over the past decade and a half, we’ve developed new techniques, new technologies, and new imaging modalities that allow us to deliver proton therapy more effectively, now we can treat virtually every disease site with protons, and it’s a very important tool in our toolbox.”

Penn announces nine 2024 Thouron Scholars

(March 8, 2024)

George Morcos, from Rochester, New York, is majoring in biology with a concentration in molecular and cell biology, with minors in classical studies and nutrition in the College. As a University Scholar through the Center for Undergraduate Research & Fellowships, Morcos conducts research in the Koumenis Lab in Penn Medicine’s Department of Radiation Oncology. He is also a writing fellow at the Marks Family Center for Excellence in Writing and an advising fellow in the student club Matriculate, which provides mentorship to high school students. He is an undergraduate coordinator at the Heart Health Bridge to Care, an extension of the United Community Clinic of West Philadelphia focused primarily on management of hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease. Morcos is an American Association of Cancer Research Undergraduate Scholar and has presented his work at national conferences. As a Thouron Scholar, Morcos plans to pursue a master’s degree in pathology, conducting basic and translational research on therapeutic toxicities in cancer, at the University of Cambridge in England.

Dose-Escalated Radiation Therapy for High-Risk Localized Prostate Cancer

(February 9, 2024)

For patients with high-risk prostate cancer, treatment with long-term androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) and high-dose radiation was associated with significantly better survival compared with ADT and standard-dose radiation. Neha Vapiwala, MD, a professor of Radiation Oncology, who was not involved in the study, commented on the results during the 2024 American Society for Clinical Oncology Genitourinary Cancers Symposium.

ASCO Post

Higher-Dose Radiation Therapy Extends Survival in High-Risk Prostate Cancer

(January 29, 2024)

For patients with high-risk prostate cancer, treatment with long-term androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) and high-dose radiation was associated with significantly better survival compared with ADT and standard-dose radiation. Neha Vapiwala, MD, a professor of Radiation Oncology, who was not involved in the study, commented on the results during the 2024 American Society for Clinical Oncology Genitourinary Cancers Symposium.

MedscapeMDedgeMedPage Today

The Importance of Collaboration between Academic Medicine and Community Oncology Practices

(January 3, 2024)

Justin Bekelman, MD, a professor of Radiation Oncology and director of the Penn Center for Cancer Care Innovation, joins the “Oncology Onward” podcast to discuss the importance of collaboration between academic medicine and community oncology, and testing innovative cancer care delivery in these settings.

AJMC

Global Health Scholar Spotlight: an interview with Stephen Avery

(December 2023)

Read all about Stephen Avery, PhD, professor of Radiation Oncology and co-Director of the Global Health Catalyst Summit, in the December CGH Scholar Spotlight. 

Prostate Cancer Treatment a ‘High-Value Option’

(October 31, 2023)

Neha Vapiwala, MD, a professor of Radiation Oncology, commented on the results of an international clinical trial of ultrafractionated stereotactic body radiation therapy for localized prostate cancer. Vapiwala, who was not involved in the study, noted that the findings may catalyze changes in the field by offering safe and effective treatment on a more convenient schedule.

ASCO Post

Proton Therapy on an Upward Trajectory While FLASH Treatment Gets Ready to Shine

(October 25, 2023)

At the ASTRO Annual Meeting, James Metz, MD, the Henry K. Pancoast Professor and chair of Radiation Oncology, discussed the current state of proton therapy and a new experimental treatment modality called FLASH radiotherapy, which involves a quick, ultra-high dose radiation.

Physics World

Radiation Therapy Research Updates for Intermediate-Risk Prostate Cancer

(October 4, 2023)

A new UK study provides important information on the options and tradeoffs for two different types of radiation therapy for prostate cancer, according to Neha Vapiwala, MD, a professor of Radiation Oncology, who moderated a press briefing at the American Society for Radiation Oncology annual meeting, where the study was presented.

MedPage Today

Medicare Limits Cancer Patients’ Access to Home Infusions. A New Bill Could Change That.

(August 21, 2023)

The Preserving Patient Access to Home Infusion Act could make home infusions more accessible, particularly for patients with cancer. Penn Medicine, which launched its Cancer Care at Home program in 2019, administers about 5 to 10 percent of all cancer infusions or injections in patients’ homes. However, that number could go as high as 20 percent while maintaining safety and effectiveness, according to Justin Bekelman, MD, a professor of Radiation Oncology and director of the Penn Center for Cancer Care Innovation.

Cancer Therapy Advisor

Impact of Infertility and Elective Fertility Among Female Oncologists

(June 12, 2023)

A recent survey conducted by physicians at Penn Medicine found that one-third of female oncologists reported experiencing infertility. Emily MacDuffie, MD, a Radiation Oncology resident, spoke about potential solutions related to infertility for women in medicine based on her 2023 ASCO presentation.

ReachMD

Ding Dong: The Doctor Will See You (at Home) Now

(June 9, 2023)

Penn Medicine’s Cancer Care at Home program allows patients to receive treatment from the comfort of home. “In cancer care, and specifically in hematologic malignancies, we need a call to action to help clinicians, hospital systems, and payers to appreciate that when patients are exposed to truly high-quality care in the home, or through digital care, the patient experience is dramatically better,” said Justin Bekelman, MD, a professor of Radiation Oncology and director of the Penn Center for Cancer Care Innovation.

ASH Clinical News

Rectal Cancer Patients Could Be Spared the Effects of Radiation

(June 5, 2023)

John Plastaras, MD, PhD, chief of the Radiation Oncology Gastrointestinal/Hematologic Service, is quoted on a study presented at the 2023 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting, which found that many rectal cancer patients may be able to forgo radiation therapy, which can have serious side effects.

New York Times

Cancer Treatment at Home After the Pandemic

(May 26, 2023)

Penn Medicine’s successful Cancer Care at Home program is highlighted in this story about the future of in-home cancer treatment. Justin Bekelman, MD, a professor of Radiation Oncology and director of the Penn Center for Cancer Care Innovation, was quoted.

Modern Healthcare

Cancer Advances are Underway in Radiation and Tumor Surgery

(April 20, 2023)

Exciting advances in cancer treatment were presented this week at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting, where Robert H. Vonderheide, MD, DPhil, director of the Abramson Cancer Center, served as the program committee chair. "Two of the most fundamental tools, cancer surgery and cancer radiation, are undergoing before our eyes fundamental changes in their technology," said Vonderheide. Constantinos Koumenis, PhD, the Richard H. Chamberlain Professor of Research Oncology in Radiation Oncology, and members have been testing "FLASH radiation," which uses ultra-high dose rate beams of energy to zap tumor cells. "In my 25 years in radiobiology research, this is the most excited we've been in this field," Koumenis said.
USA Today

Flash Forward

(April 13, 2023)

Alexander Lin, MD, medical director of the Roberts Proton Therapy Center at the Abramson Cancer Center and the Morton M. Kligerman Professor of Radiation Oncology, and Keith Cengel, MD, PhD, a professor of Radiation Oncology, discussed how FLASH radiotherapy shows potential for shortening treatments and reducing side effects.

Radiology Today

South Jersey Opens New Proton Therapy Center

(April 5, 2023)

The Penn Medicine | Virtua Health Proton Therapy Center — the first of its kind in South Jersey — opened this week. The center is the latest development in the longtime partnership between Virtua Health, South Jersey’s largest health care system, and Penn Medicine. Regional news coverage includes comments from a Penn Medicine patient who was treated at the Roberts Proton Therapy Center and James Metz, MD, the Henry K. Pancoast Professor and chair of Radiation Oncology.

Penn Medicine News ReleasePhiladelphia Business JournalCBS3KYW NewsradioNJ.com

Interactive Mobile Cancer Apps: Promising, But Formative

(March 17, 2023)

Mobile apps that allow cancer patients to self-report symptoms and outcome data have the potential to help improve care. Justin Bekelman, MD, a professor of Radiation Oncology and director of the Penn Center for Cancer Care Innovation, shared key questions researchers should address to find the best way to incorporate digital health care tools into cancer care.

Healthcare In Europe

How One Doctor-Patient Relationship Could Change How Women Are Treated for Gynecologic Cancers

(February 2, 2023)

Retired chemist Dalia Jakas credits radiation oncologist Neil Taunk with curing her uterine cancer without harming her quality of life. Now, she’s empowering his research into how treatment can be improved for future patients.

 Penn Medicine News Blog

Penn Medicine Expands Proton Therapy Reach

(February 1, 2023) 

News coverage details Penn Medicine’s proton therapy expansion to Lancaster General Health and Virtua Voorhees in South Jersey, explains the differences between proton and photon radiation therapy, and shares one patient’s experience with a radiation therapy clinical trial for breast cancer. As a global leader in proton therapy, Penn Medicine has trained medical professionals around the world and is leading scientific research on the technology, including a nationwide, randomized clinical trial to compare proton and photon therapy for breast cancer treatment. James Metz, MD, the Henry K. Pancoast Professor and chair of Radiation Oncology, and Justin Bekelman, MD, a professor of Radiation Oncology and director of the Penn Center for Cancer Care Innovation, were quoted.

Philadelphia InquirerPhiladelphia Inquirer (2)Philadelphia Inquirer (3)

 

 

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