NCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research NewsNCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research News
March 14, 2006 • Volume 3 / Number 11 E-Mail This Document  |  Download PDF  |  Bulletin Archive/Search  |  Subscribe

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Cancer Center ProfileCancer Center Profile

Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania
Director: Dr. John H. Glick • 34th and Spruce Streets, Philadelphia, PA 19103 • Phone: 800-789-7366 • Web site:

Architectural rendering of the Center for Advanced Medicine. Background
In 1973, the University of Pennsylvania established a cancer center to serve as the focus and stimulus for all cancer-related activities at the University of Pennsylvania. In 1975, it was designated by NCI as a Comprehensive Cancer Center and has maintained that designation ever since. In 2002, it was renamed the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania in recognition of the philanthropic support of Leonard and Madlyn Abramson and their family. Today, the Abramson Cancer Center's mission is to gain new knowledge through leading-edge research and provide hope to those touched by cancer through patient care excellence.

Patient Care
With more than 300 faculty members, the Abramson Cancer Center provides state-of-the-art medical care that addresses virtually all types of cancer. The Center also strives to provide holistic care that addresses the social, emotional, and other physical needs of its patients. Patient service coordinators help patients find their way through the often confusing array of tests, appointments, and paperwork. Nutritional specialists provide individual dietary plans to help patients cope with the effects of their disease and its treatment. The cancer rehabilitation program provides patients with physical activity and exercise programs to help reduce the long-term effects of cancer. Psychosocial counselors address the emotional side of the cancer experience, helping patients face the many personal issues associated with cancer.

NCI Names New Cancer Center
The University of New Mexico Cancer Research and Treatment Center was designated as the 61st NCI Cancer Center. For more information on its research and treatment programs, go to
Research Activities
Basic and clinical research is a cornerstone of the Abramson Cancer Center's operations. Current areas of research focus include:
  • Translational research focused on harnessing the patient's immune system to fight cancer, including post-bone marrow transplant immunization, adoptive immunotherapy, and metastatic breast cancer vaccines.
  • Understanding the genetic basis of cancers through participation in NCI's national cancer genetics network, as well as using molecular genetics techniques to identify how genetic mutations intersect with environmental factors.
  • Using imaging techniques such as positron emission tomography and magnetic resonance imaging not only to visualize tumors, but also to monitor the progression of specific cancer treatments for breast cancer and brain tumors.

Other Notable Programs
When it is completed in 2008, the new 540,000-square-foot Center for Advanced Medicine (pictured above) will integrate the majority of the Abramson Cancer Center's cancer care specialties - including medical, surgical, and radiation oncology - in a single building. This will further enable prompt diagnosis and coordinated delivery of cancer treatments.