National Cancer Institute NCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research News
January 11, 2011 • Volume 8 / Number 1

Cancer Center Profile

The Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University

Director: Dr. Richard Pestell • 233 S. 10th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Phone: 1-888-955-1212 • Web site:


The Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University The Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University

The Kimmel Cancer Center (KCC) at Thomas Jefferson University, in Philadelphia, was founded in 1991 and became an NCI-designated Cancer Center in 1996. It conducts oncology research and supports patient care, education, and health information services for Thomas Jefferson University, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Methodist Hospital, and the Kimmel Cancer Center Network, which includes 22 hospital and practice partners and provides services to more than 12,000 newly diagnosed cancer patients each year.


The KCC’s mission is to make transformational cellular and molecular biology discoveries about the malignancy process and the individual’s response to it; effectively translate the latest research discoveries into clinical trials to provide the highest quality of care to all patients, including those from diverse ethnic and racial populations; and to provide expert and humanitarian care to cancer patients, their families, and those at risk for getting the disease.

The KCC comprises seven research programs that support this mission, four focused on basic and translational science (Cancer Cell Biology & Signaling, Molecular Biology & Genetics, Immunological Mechanisms in Cancer, and Endocrine Mechanisms & Hormone Action in Cancer), two that concentrate on translational and clinical components of cancer care (Radiation Research & Translational Biology and Gastrointestinal Cancer), and one evolving program that focuses on population studies. Along with the Kimmel Cancer Center Network partners, the KCC offers patients access to more than 100 active clinical trials.

The KCC is dedicated to producing a new generation of talented scientists and participates in four NIH/NCI training grants for graduate students and post-doctoral fellows. Of the more than 120 Ph.D. candidates enrolled in the College of Graduate Studies at Thomas Jefferson University, approximately 81 are working with KCC mentors. Also, a large proportion of the 160 post-doctoral fellows on campus are involved in KCC research programs.

Patient Care

The internationally renowned clinical teams at the KCC treat virtually every type of cancer, with multidisciplinary centers that focus on brain tumors, breast cancer, colon and rectal cancers, gynecologic tumors, liver cancer, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer and related diseases, and urologic cancers. The KCC has also recently opened a new consultative service focused on treating senior adults who have cancer. The affiliated Thomas Jefferson University Hospital has been recognized by Blue Cross & Blue Shield as a Blue Distinction Center for Complex and Rare Cancers for offering the best practices and standards of cancer care.

The KCC also offers a variety of support groups and programs for patients, such as Back In The Saddle, a program to help patients transition back from treatment to normal life; the Buddy Program, where patients are paired with a partner who understands what it’s like to be diagnosed with cancer; the Caregiver Connection, a support group for people who take care of someone going through cancer treatment; and Coffee and Conversation, a group that allows young adults to talk about things like treatment side effects, relationships, and employment.