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FOX CHASE CANCER CENTER 333 Cottman Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19111-2497 Phone: 215-728-2745 Fax: 215-728-2759 www.foxchase.org
MILESTONES IN CANCER SCIENCE AND MEDICINE A TIMELINE OF FOX CHASE CANCER CENTER
MISSION: TO PREVAIL OVER CANCER, MARSHALING HEART AND MIND IN BOLD SCIENTIFIC DISCOVERY, PIONEERING PREVENTION, AND COMPASSIONATE CARE.
How an institution has acted upon its mission and values in the past is a powerful indicator of its ability to deliver on the promise of tomorrow. On the following pages we document many of the milestones that define Fox Chase Cancer Center. This is hardly an exhaustive history—so much important medicine and science has happened here it would be impossible to capture it all—but a compelling story of progress, discovery, and achievement emerges. Its main players: visionary leaders and philanthropists, creative scientists, innovative physicians, compassionate nurses, dedicated volunteers and friends, and grateful patients and their families. Ours is really two histories in one, since Fox Chase Cancer Center evolved from American Oncologic Hospital, founded in 1904 as one of the nation’s first hospitals devoted exclusively to cancer care, and the world-renowned Institute for Cancer Research, which grew from a research enterprise begun at Lankenau Hospital shortly after World War I. Now, as a member of Temple University Health System, we’ve begun an exciting new chapter of our story. It’s thrilling to imagine the entries we will add to our timeline in the next decade, as we continue our commitment to excellence in cancer research, treatment, and prevention to benefit our patients, their families, and our community. Sincerely,
RICHARD I. FISHER, M.D.
President and CEO
1 9 0 6 Patient Elizabeth Anderson, thrifty domestic servant-turned-philanthropist, bequeaths more than $40,000 — the equivalent of $1 million today — to American Oncologic Hospital. The funds enable the Hospital to build a new home at 33rd Street and Powelton Avenue in 1911. To honor Anderson’s legacy, a society bearing her name is established in 2009 to celebrate donors who make planned gifts to the Center.
1 9 0 4 On October 8, a group of Philadelphia physicians and businessmen, concerned with rising cancer rates in the city, sign the charter establishing the American Oncologic Hospital, one of the country’s first hospitals devoted exclusively to cancer. It opens on January 4, 1905, in a converted Victorian home at 45th and Chestnut streets in West Philadelphia. In its first year, it admits 206 patients. Prevailing public perceptions of cancer hold that most cancers are incurable, contagious, and caused by trauma. The only treatment options are surgery and radiation therapy.
American Oncologic Hospital began in this West Philadelphia Victorian home.
1 9 1 3 : The American Society for the Control of Cancer —
renamed the American Cancer Society in 1944 — is founded in New York City.
1917 Twenty-six-year-old Stanley P. Reimann, M.D., a 1913 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, becomes chief pathologist at Lankenau Hospital, then at Girard and Corinthian streets in North Philadelphia. Along with collaborator Frederick S. Hammett, Ph.D., a biologist and biochemist, he begins a research program at the hospital to study the fundamental processes involved in cancer.
From 1911 to 1967, the Hospital was located in this building at 33rd and Powelton in West Philadelphia.
Stanley P. Reimann (1891–1968).
1 9 2 5 The April 25 edition of Philadelphia’s Public Ledger announces the opening of a research facility at Lankenau Hospital. Reimann is the founding director of what in 1927 becomes the Lankenau Hospital Research Institute. Patient and friend Rodman Wanamaker, son of department store founder John Wanamaker, donates the funds to build the facility. A marble seal on the Institute’s rotunda floor acknowledges his largesse with the words: “For Humanity.” From the start, Reimann leads with a then-novel belief that the key to understanding cancer lies in the study of normal cell growth and development. Cancer research up until that time had focused solely on studies of tumor tissues.
1 9 2 8 Jeanes Hospital is founded, through a bequest from Quaker philanthropist Anna T. Jeanes, to treat “cancerous, nervous, and disabling ailments.” The hospital, in the Fox Chase section of Northeast Philadelphia, played a key role in the formation of Fox Chase Cancer Center, offering adjacent land to the Institute for Cancer Research in the late 1940s and to American Oncologic Hospital in the mid-1960s.
Two generations of Fox Chase leaders in one family: George (left) and Morrie Dorrance.
1 9 2 9 Pioneering plastic surgeon George M. Dorrance, M.D., becomes the American Oncologic Hospital’s first medical director. Decades earlier, George’s chemist brother, John, invented condensed soup and later led the Campbell Soup Company. George’s son, Philadelphia banker G. Morris Dorrance Jr., would go on to head the Hospital’s board of trustees from 1957 to 1974, when he became Fox Chase Cancer Center’s first board chairman. Rodman Wanamaker’s “For Humanity” marble seal.
1 9 3 1 Facing financial constraints in the early days of the Great Depression, the Institute survives after Lankenau Hospital’s board of trustees, inspired by the research there, votes to support the Institute with personal contributions. An accomplished pianist, Dr. Reimann raises $5,000 by performing eight piano recitals.
1 9 3 0 With $1,000 from his father-in-law, Reimann establishes the Marine Experimental Station of the Institute, a one-room laboratory on the bay in North Truro, Mass. Its mission: to investigate the biological basis of cancer. Teams of Institute scientists, led by biologist and biochemist Frederick S. Hammett, Ph.D., conduct studies on the area’s teeming sea life. Work at the scientific outpost ceases in 1948.
Mary Ethel Pew.
Dr. Reimann takes the piano at his 65th birthday party at the Institute for Cancer Research, 1956.
“CANCER IS A GREAT MENACE AND ONLY PUBLIC UNDERSTANDING OF IT CAN RESULT IN ITS ULTIMATE ELIMINATION.” — Anna Gray 1933 The newly formed Anna M. Gray Auxiliary holds the first “annual cancer forum” for the public. For 50 cents each, 150 people attend a lecture and a luncheon and tour the Institute. Barely whispered in the 1930s, the word “cancer” is used openly. Today, the auxiliary’s spirit of volunteerism and advocacy is embodied by Fox Chase’s Board of Associates, formed in 1965.
Pioneering cancer educator and fundraiser Anna Gray, far right, and other members of the auxiliary she founded welcome Eva Curie, third from left, daughter of “Madame” Marie Curie, to the Institute for Cancer Research in 1948.
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1 9 3 5 Mary Anderson Pew, matriarch of the Sun Oil Company’s founding family, dies of cancer. Her daughter Mary Ethel Pew and son J. Howard Pew become leading advocates and supporters of Dr. Reimann and the Institute for Cancer Research. The family’s foundation, now the Pew Charitable Trusts, approves a grant to the Institute at its first meeting in 1948.
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With an eye toward future growth— and increased funding — Lankenau trustee Philip T. Sharples recommends creating a sister entity to Lankenau’s research institute, identifying cancer as a major research focus. He recommends dropping the local hospital name and adding the word “cancer.” The Institute for Cancer Research is formally incorporated in January 1945. Sharples becomes the Institute’s first president and J. Howard Pew serves as chairman of the board.
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1 9 3 7 : The National Cancer Institute is established to support
research “related to the causes, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer.”
Institute scientists begin a tradition that continues to this day: tea time. Each afternoon at 3:30, tea and cookies are served in the Fox Chase cafeteria. Researchers use the time to informally share ideas and discuss potential collaborations.
1943 Pioneering geneticist Jack Schultz, Ph.D., joins the Institute. Schultz’s primary interests are in the nature and function of genes. With Torbjörn Caspersson, he participated in the application of new instruments to the study of nucleic acids. Ideas based on their work informed some of the basic concepts underlying what became known as molecular biology. In addition to his research, Schultz contributed to the evolution of the Institute in informal yet profound ways over the next three decades.
Jack Schultz (1904–1971).
“STANLEY REIMANN ALWAYS WAS VERY ENCOURAGING TO WOMEN AND TREATED THEM ABSOLUTELY ON A LEVEL WITH THE MEN. THERE WAS NO DISCRIMINATION WHATSOEVER. SALARIES WERE THE SAME.” — Fox Chase biochemist Elizabeth Knight Patterson, Ph.D., in 1985
Institute staff in 1936.
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With a staff now numbering 46, the Institute has outgrown its Lankenau Hospital home. The Society of Friends, trustees of Jeanes Hospital, offers land in Fox Chase. Of the Institute’s 10 laboratory heads, four are women.
Hugh Creech in the 1970s.
1 9 4 5 Hugh J. Creech, Ph.D., begins his 31-year career at the Institute. An organic chemist, Creech would become widely recognized for pioneering work in developing and testing chemotherapy agents, especially nitrogen-mustard compounds and other alkylating agents, which have the ability to interfere with cell metabolism and growth.
1 9 4 7 On June 5, ground is broken for the Institute for Cancer Research’s new home in Fox Chase. The 50- by 283-foot facility, built with funds from the Pew family, provides space for “about 100 research workers divided into working groups in various fields all headed toward a reasonable solution of the cancer problem,” wrote architect Vincent G. Kling in the ceremony’s program. The building was named for Stanley Reimann in the early 1990s.
1949 Physicist Arthur Lindo Patterson, Ph.D., joins the Institute. Fifteen years earlier, he developed what became known as the Patterson function, a fundamental equation in the field of X-ray crystallography, which uses diffracted X-ray beams to determine molecules’ atomic structure and characteristics. At the Institute, Patterson, together with Jenny Glusker, Ph.D., began applying X-ray crystallography to biological molecules such as DNA in order to shed light on disease — now a common practice in cancer research. Arthur Lindo Patterson in the early 1960s.
1 9 5 2 Institute biologists Robert W. Briggs, Ph.D., and Thomas J. King, Ph.D., undertake a novel investigation of cellular diversification during embryonic development. They transferred nuclei from progressively older frog embryos into frog eggs with their nuclei removed, and found that nuclei from the early embryo could mediate normal development of recipient eggs. Later, researchers elsewhere showed that even nuclei from differentiated amphibian or mammalian cells could support complete development. The possibility of experimentally changing gene expression has since become a major area of investigation.
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1 9 54 American Oncologic Hospital expands with the addition of the George Morris Dorrance Clinic, honoring the Hospital’s first medical director.
A new era of progress, growth, and stability begins at the Institute with the appointment of Timothy R. Talbot Jr., M.D., as scientific director. Over the next 20 years, he champions the move of American Oncologic Hospital to the Institute’s campus and, with Hospital board chairman G. Morris Dorrance Jr., Hospital president Edward J. Roach, and Institute board chairman G. Willing Pepper, leads the subsequent formation of Fox Chase Cancer Center, becoming its first president. Timothy R. Talbot Jr. (1916 – 1988).
Peter Nowell (left) and David Hungerford.
1 9 6 0 Beatrice Mintz, Ph.D., joins the Institute. She would go on to produce the first genetically modified mice. She devised methods to obtain chimeric mice and later, transgenic mice, comprising cellular genetic markers for in vivo analyses of development and specific diseases. Her experiments revealed the clonal basis of development from successively restricted stem cells. They also provided evidence for the origin of cancers from stem cells with an altered balance between proliferation and differentiation and for critical influences from the microenvironment on these processes.
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David A. Hungerford, a graduate student at Fox Chase, and Peter C. Nowell, M.D., a pathologist at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, detect an abnormality on chromosome 22 in cells taken from patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). The discovery provides the first conclusive evidence that cancer is a genetic disorder of somatic cells. This chromosomal abnormality would become known as the Philadelphia chromosome, for the city in which Hungerford and Nowell both worked. The 1960 publication of their research marked the first scientific discovery to lead to a targeted therapy for cancer. Today, many patients with CML live for years on imatinib (marketed as Gleevec™), a drug therapy that targets the cancercausing protein produced by the Philadelphia chromosome.
“BEATRICE MINTZ’S GROUNDBREAKING RESEARCH HAS CHANGED THE WAY SCIENTISTS ARE ABLE TO INVESTIGATE THE PROGRESSION AND METASTASIS OF CANCERS AND SHED LIGHT ON THIS DISEASE.” — Peter K. Vogt, Ph.D., The Scripps Research Institute, in announcing Mintz as the recipient of the 2011 Albert Szent-Györgyi Prize for Progress in Cancer Research
1 9 6 2 The Institute for Cancer Research receives the first of what is later known as a Cancer Center Support Grant (CCSG) award from the National Cancer Institute. To facilitate discovery and its translation into direct benefit to patients and the general public, the NCI awards Cancer Center Support Grants to institutions that have a critical mass of excellent cancer-relevant scientific research. Also referred to as a “core grant,” the award provides funding to support the scientific infrastructure of the Center.
1 9 6 4 : The first U.S. Surgeon General’s Report
on Smoking and Health becomes the first widely publicized recognition that cigarette smoking causes cancer and other serious diseases—although some had suggested a link as early as the 18th century.
“THE ETHICS OF HUMAN CONCERNS ARE INDIVISIBLY BOUND WITH SCIENTIFIC OBSERVATIONS; HUMAN VALUES AND SCIENCE CANNOT BE SEPARATED.” — Baruch S. Blumberg, M.D., Ph.D., in Nobel Prize acceptance speech
1 9 6 7 Baruch S. Blumberg, M.D., Ph.D., and his laboratory team identify the hepatitis B virus — a major cause of primary liver cancer, the fifth most common cancer worldwide. Two years later, with Irving Millman, Ph.D., he invents the first hepatitis B vaccine — the first vaccine capable of preventing a human cancer. Blumberg would go on to receive the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1976; both Blumberg and Millman were elected to the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 1993. “I think it’s fair to say that Barry prevented more cancer deaths than any person who’s ever lived,” chief scientific officer Jonathan Chernoff, M.D., Ph.D., told The Washington Post in 2011.
Baruch Blumberg and wife Jean celebrate the news of his Nobel Prize in 1976.
1 9 7 0 Reimann (left), Institute board chair Anthony Whitaker, and Talbot at 1964 groundbreaking for new laboratories.
Paul F. Engstrom, M.D., joins American Oncologic Hospital as its first chair of medical oncology. Educated at the University of Minnesota Medical School and trained under B.J. Kennedy, M.D. (known as the “Father of Medical Oncology”), he was one of the first trainees in medical oncology in the country.
1 9 7 0 : The Public Health
Cigarette Smoking Act passes Congress, banning all TV and radio advertising for cigarettes as of January 1, 1971.
1 9 7 4 : First Lady
Betty Ford undergoes a mastectomy and speaks publicly about breast cancer.
1968 After 57 years in West Philadelphia, American Oncologic Hospital opens in Fox Chase. The new 55-bed hospital building’s innovative pagoda-style design receives accolades for providing patients a soothing, sunlit environment—including balconies for each patient room. Architect Vincent G. Kling had designed the Institute for Cancer Research’s home in Fox Chase 20 years earlier.
“HIS IDEAS PAVED THE WAY FOR THE NEXT 30 YEARS OF CANCER RESEARCH AND BEYOND.” Hospital board chairman G. Morris Dorrance Jr., Dr. Talbot, Institute board chairman G. Willing Pepper, and Hospital President Edward J. Roach on June 10, 1974, the day they signed the papers uniting American Oncologic Hospital and the Institute for Cancer Research as Fox Chase Cancer Center.
— Kathryn Prichard-Jones, M.D., of London’s Institute for Cancer Research & Royal Marsden Hospital, writing about Knudson in 1999 1 9 7 6 Alfred G. Knudson Jr., M.D., Ph.D., joins Fox Chase as director of the Institute. Five years earlier, studying a rare childhood tumor called retinoblastoma, he had formulated the widely acclaimed “two-hit” theory of cancer causation. It explains the relationship between the hereditary and non-hereditary forms of a cancer and predicted the existence of tumor-suppressor genes that can restrain cancer cell growth. In 1986 the retinoblastoma gene became the first tumor-suppressor gene to be cloned. Knudson’s now-confirmed theory has advanced understanding of errors in the genetic program that turn normal cells into cancer cells. Knudson was awarded an Albert Lasker Award for Clinical Medical Research in 1998 and the 2004 Kyoto Prize in basic sciences.
1 9 7 4 Two years after the national cancer act begins the “war on cancer,” American Oncologic Hospital and the Institute for Cancer Research unite to form Fox Chase Cancer Center. Later that year, Fox Chase becomes one of the first institutions to receive the National Cancer Institute’s elite designation as a Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Alfred G. Knudson Jr. and his “two-hit” theory.
1 9 7 5 Canscreen, the first low-cost individual screening program for the early detection of cancer, begins at Fox Chase.
1 9 7 7 : The MRI scanner is developed,
five years after the CAT scanner.
John R. Durant, Fox Chase’s president from 1982 to 1988.
1 9 8 0 Melvin Bosma, Ph.D., discovers a mouse strain with severe combined immune deficiency (SCID). Since SCID mice have no natural immunity and cannot reject tissue transplants, they have become valuable research tools for studying many diseases, including cancer and HIV.
1 977 Construction of the Center Building is completed. Initially referred to as “the link” building because it connected the Institute for Cancer Research and the Hospital, it provides a new auditorium and cafeteria, where clinical and research staff can meet.
Early Fox Chase Cancer Center logos: circa 1970s (left) and circa 1980s (bottom).
1 9 8 2 John R. Durant, M.D., begins his term as president of Fox Chase, creating an academic clinical research environment over the next six years.
“IF YOU FIND RESULTS THAT ARE IMPORTANT, THAT’S NICE. IF YOU FIND RESULTS THAT ARE CORRECT, THAT’S EVEN NICER. AND IF YOU ARE SATISFIED IN YOUR WORK AND CAN INFLUENCE OTHER PEOPLE TO JOIN IN THE EFFORT TO DO GOOD SCIENCE, THAT’S IMPORTANT.” — Irwin A. Rose, Ph.D., reacting to news of his Nobel Prize in 2004 LATE
Fox Chase’s Irwin A. Rose, Ph.D., and collaborators Avram Hershko, M.D., Ph.D., and Aaron Ciechanover, M.D., Ph.D., discover one of the cell’s most important cyclical processes: how proteins are broken down and recycled. Their discoveries establish a new paradigm in biology and form the basis for Velcade, a drug approved for multiple myeloma. The three men would go on to receive the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 2004.
Irwin A. Rose (right) receiving his Nobel Prize in Stockholm in 2004.
1 9 8 6 Fox Chase begins establishing partnerships with community hospitals in the region. Fox Chase Cancer Center Partners now includes more than 11 hospitals in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. The program’s goal is to raise the quality of cancer care in the community and increase the number of patients enrolled in clinical trials.
1 9 9 0 Responding to the rise in the need for outpatient care, Fox Chase builds a new outpatient facility, the West Building, to consolidate service for patients. Its dramatic focal point, a 36-ton marble sculpture by artist and patient Jay Dugan, quickly becomes a familiar icon of Fox Chase. The sculpture’s three squared circles symbolize the Center’s three primary missions: research, treatment, and prevention.
“I WANTED TO CONVEY THE TRUE BEAUTY AND DEVOTION OF THE HUMAN INTERACTIONS THAT HAPPEN HERE, THE PEOPLE WORKING TO SAVE LIVES AND TO GIVE PEOPLE DESPERATELY NEEDED HOPE.” — sculptor Jay Dugan The West Building , with Jay Dugan’s sculpture.
1 9 8 8 Robert C. Young, M.D., head of the National Cancer Institute’s medicine branch and internationally known for his work in the treatment of lymphoma and ovarian cancer, becomes president of Fox Chase. Throughout the next 19 years, Fox Chase builds new facilities, recruits top talent, and solidifies its standing as a national leader in basic and cancer-prevention research. Robert C. Young (above), Fox Chase’s president from 1988 to 2007.
“WHEN WE FINISH THIS PROJECT, ALMOST EVERYTHING WE KNOW ABOUT DISEASE PREVENTION, GENETICS, AND EVEN PUBLIC HEALTH WILL CHANGE. IT IS THAT IMPORTANT.” — Kenneth H. Buetow, Ph.D., in 1992
1 9 9 0 : San Luis Obispo, California, becomes the first
city in the world to ban indoor smoking at all public places. Philadelphia would join the growing list of smoke-free cities in 2007. 1991 Fox Chase initiates its chemoprevention research program. At the time, the concept of treating healthy individuals to prevent cancer was not fully appreciated. Unrelated to chemotherapy, cancer chemoprevention uses medicines and nutrients to help prevent cancer, just as medicines help reduce heart disease by lowering cholesterol and blood pressure.
1 9 9 2 The National Institutes of Health names Fox Chase one of four institutions chosen to analyze all genetic data for the Human Genome Project — a massive international effort to locate and identify every human gene. Directed by geneticist Kenneth H. Buetow, Ph.D., the Center team also assembles part of the genetic map and contributes to a database for researchers worldwide.
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Mary Daly, M.D., Ph.D., establishes Fox Chase’s first family risk-assessment program, with seed funds from the Margaret Dyson Foundation. Among the first of its kind in the country, the program serves women with a family history of breast and ovarian cancer, offering genetic testing and counseling, screening and follow-up, and the opportunity to take part in prevention studies. Over 25 years, the program expands to provide services to people with or at risk for breast, ovarian, prostate, gastrointestinal, melanoma, kidney, endocrine, and other cancers.
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Fox Chase scientists Joseph R. Testa, Ph.D., Philip Tsichlis, Ph.D., and Alfonso Bellacosa, M.D., Ph.D., identify a major driver of cancer development: the protein AKT, which hinders the process that kills abnormal cancer cells. Initial studies link AKT overexpression to ovarian and pancreatic cancers; subsequent work makes the connection with many other cancers. The findings are the first evidence of a recurrent genetic alteration in a cell signaling pathway that plays a central role in tumor development. Over the next 25 years, more than 50,000 papers are published on AKT, and a number of potential targets for future anti-cancer drugs are discovered based on this work.
1 9 9 5 Fox Chase becomes one of the founding members of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, an alliance of the nation’s leading academic cancer centers designed to ensure the highest-quality, most cost-effective cancer care based on state-of-the-art treatment guidelines and outcomes research.
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Robert B. Perry, Fox Chase’s first endowed chair holder.
A founding gift from the board of directors establishes Fox Chase’s first endowed chair, The Stanley P. Reimann Endowed Chair in Oncology Research. The inaugural chair holder is Robert B. Perry, Ph.D., recognized for his seminal discoveries about the molecular mechanisms that control individual gene activities, including the cell’s protein assembly lines. Today, the Center has 18 endowed chairs, honoring leaders in science, medicine, and prevention.
Alfonso Bellacosa and Joseph Testa, pictured in 2015 on the 25th anniversary of their seminal AKT discovery.
1 9 9 5 Molecular biologist Jonathan Chernoff, M.D., Ph.D., and his lab at Fox Chase discover and characterize MST1 and MST2, enzymes that suppress cell proliferation and survival. These enzymes are subsequently found to act as important tumor suppressors in both animal and human models of cancer. The discoveries suggest that manipulating MST pathway activity may be a useful therapeutic approach in liver, pancreatic, and other cancers.
“WHAT MAKES FOX CHASE UNIQUE IS THE SENSE OF COMMON MISSION AMONG ALL EMPLOYEES. IN A CANCER CENTER THAT SEES MANY PATIENTS A DAY, WE ARE CONSTANTLY REMINDED OF OUR SINGULAR EMPHASIS.” — Fox Chase virologist Glenn Rall, Ph.D., to The Scientist
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The Cancer Prevention Pavilion.
To capitalize on new opportunities in genetics and molecular biology and to accommodate expanding research programs, Fox Chase launches the Prevention Campaign. By January 2000, trustees, friends, faculty, and staff raise $39 million, enabling Fox Chase to build a dedicated facility for cancer prevention services and seeding multiple new research programs.
1 9 9 9 Fox Chase scientist Dietmar J. Kappes, Ph.D., discovers a mouse with a mutation in a master regulator gene controlling T cell fate. Six years later, he identifies the gene as Th-POK, and later shows that its disregulation causes lymphoid transformation. This finding is significant because it linked how cells develop with how cancers develop. Understanding how genes function in normal development is useful in exploring how tumors begin.
2 0 0 0 The 120,000-square-foot Cancer Prevention Pavilion opens.
2 0 0 1 Fox Chase nurses celebrate their fourth Magnet designation as among the nation’s best.
Fox Chase becomes the first cancer center in the world to use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to design more precise radiation treatment plans for cancer patients, setting a new standard for therapy. In the following decade, the department of radiation oncology pioneers the use of several state-of-the-art technologies, including the bat ultrasound, CT on Rails, and Calypso® beacons. All these advanced technologies are used to help guide the radiation and reduce side effects.
2 0 0 3 The results of clinical trial Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG) 158 are published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. The trial, led by Fox Chase’s Robert F. Ozols, M.D., Ph.D., demonstrated the efficacy of a new chemotherapy regimen combining paclitaxel (Taxol) and carboplatin to treat women with ovarian cancer. Finding that the regimen was less toxic and easier to administer — cutting treatments from 24 hours to 4 hours — the study established a new standard of care used by oncologists worldwide. In 2009, GOG 158 was nominated for the ImpACT trials list, a compendium of the most important clinical trials in medicine and public health since 1948.
2 0 00 Fox Chase becomes the first U.S. cancer center and the first hospital in Pennsylvania to earn the American Nurses Association Magnet Award for Nursing Excellence. Renewed in 2004, 2009, and 2013, Magnet status certifies that Fox Chase meets the gold standard in nursing. Fox Chase is one of only 32 organizations in the world that has earned the designation four times in a row.
2 0 0 4 Fox Chase is listed at #1 in The Scientist’s national ranking of “Best Places to Work in Academia for Postdocs.” Fox Chase’s postdoctoral program, which has been repeatedly ranked among the top 15 “Best Places to Work” in the nation, includes one of the longest-running National Cancer Institute training grants in the country.
2 0 0 7 : The National Cancer Institute estimates there are
11.7 million cancer survivors in the United States alone. In 1971, the number of cancer survivors was three million.
2007 Molecular biologist Erica A. Golemis, Ph.D., discovers that a signaling circuit involving two proteins—HEF1/NEDD9 and Aurora-A — can dismantle cilia, antenna-like structures on cells that detect signals controlling cell growth, contributing to malignant changes that lead to cancer. In addition to cancer, the implications of the discovery are broadly relevant to a number of inherited developmental disorders, forming the foundation of many future studies of human disease. Clinical trials to study inhibitors of Aurora-A are informed by Golemis’ studies on its role in cilia and in other cellular signaling.
Michael V. Seiden.
2 0 0 7 Michael V. Seiden, M.D., Ph.D., becomes president and chief executive officer of Fox Chase, serving through early 2013. A board-certified medical oncologist, Seiden previously led the gynecologic cancer program at Dana-Farber / Harvard Cancer Center and was chief of the clinical research unit in Massachusetts General Hospital’s division of cancer medicine. Over his tenure at Fox Chase, Seiden advances translational research efforts, weathers fiscal challenges related to the global recession, and positions Fox Chase for a successful partnership with Temple University Health System.
2 0 09 The culmination of 20 years of leadership in the field, Fox Chase opens the region’s first comprehensive Women’s Cancer Center. The center brings together leading oncologists in breast and gynecologic cancers to provide women with state-of-the-art care and support. Fox Chase is thought to be the first NCI-designated cancer center to unify its research and treatment approaches in an entity that addresses the full spectrum of women’s cancers.
2009 Fox Chase concludes its Centennial Campaign, begun in 2003. Donors contribute more than $115 million to support research, clinical care, and new facilities; $5 million of that total comes from campaign chair Kenneth Weg and his wife Carol.
Artist John Magnan’s work Survivor hangs in the Women’s Cancer Center, depicting images of his wife Mary during her treatment for ovarian cancer.
2 0 1 0 On May 8, a newly expanded building that supports Fox Chase research and treatment is dedicated in honor of a former Center president. The Robert C. Young, M.D., Pavilion subsumes the former Cancer Prevention Pavilion and adds 116,000 square feet of new space, making the building the largest on the Fox Chase campus.
2 0 1 0 : The five-year relative cancer survival rate is 68 percent,
nearly 20 percent higher than in 1977 — an improvement reflecting the earlier diagnosis of certain cancers as well as improvements in treatment.
Official White House Photo by David Lienemann
2010 In an effort to improve the patient experience, Fox Chase launches its Nurse Navigation program, first piloting the initiative with two breast navigators. Within five years, the program expands to include 16 navigators in 10 disease areas, and serves as an example for healthcare institutions nationally. Fox Chase navigators, who are all certified oncology nurses, help patients throughout the entire treatment process, providing education, reducing barriers, and connecting them to needed services and resources. At a 2013 White House reception commemorating breast cancer awareness month, Dr. Jill Biden recognized three Fox Chase nurse navigators when speaking about the positive impact of nurse navigators on healthcare.
2 0 1 1 : The American
Cancer Society ranks the cancer rates in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware among the top 10 in the country.
Jeffrey R. Peterson.
2 0 1 1 In a first-of-its-kind effort, Fox Chase scientist Jeffrey R. Peterson, Ph.D., and colleagues cross-index the activity of 180 kinase inhibitors against more than 300 kinases, yielding valuable information on which inhibitors block which kinases. The team finds compounds — some already FDA-approved for other diseases — with activity against several clinically important cancer targets. By examining many inhibitors against many disease targets concurrently, they present a rapid “parallel” approach to drug development rather than the more typical “one target at a time” approach. The kinase data — available publicly in an online database — continues to inform Peterson and colleagues worldwide striving to develop more precise cancer drugs.
“WE ARE ENTERING A NEW ‘PAN-OMICS’ ERA, IN WHICH ALL ASPECTS OF A PATIENT’S CANCER — ITS MUTATIONS, LEVEL OF GENE EXPRESSION, SIGNALING ACTIVITY, AND METABOLISM — WILL BE DETERMINED AND USED TO SELECT INDIVIDUALLY TAILORED THERAPIES.” — Jonathan Chernoff, M.D., Ph.D., chief scientific officer
+/+ +/+ dg Tdg
-‐/-‐ -‐/-‐ Tdg Tdg
2 0 1 1 Research by Fox Chase geneticist Alfonso Bellacosa, M.D., Ph.D., reveals that a protein called TDG affects the process of demethylation, which reactivates genes that, when silenced, may lead to cancer. Demethylating drugs work to reactivate these silenced genes, but they also work on other genes not related to cancer, leading to side effects. In pinpointing a protein that actively affects the demethylation process, Bellacosa’s discovery broke open the possibility of developing a more targeted type of cancer therapy that would only change the expression of specific genes, yielding better outcomes.
2 0 1 2 : The United Nations and
2 0 1 1 Fox Chase geneticist Joseph R. Testa, Ph.D., and colleagues find that inherited mutations of the BAP1 tumor suppressor gene predispose affected families to the development of mesothelioma and other cancers such as melanoma, meningioma, as well as kidney, breast, and basal cell carcinoma. Later, Testa establishes that the interaction between this genetic factor and exposure to the environmental carcinogen asbestos is critical to cause mesothelioma: a BAP1 mutation alone is not generally enough to cause the disease; exposure to deadly asbestos fibers is typically required as well. Crucially, these discoveries improve early detection efforts by helping to identify high-risk individuals.
Joseph R. Testa.
the World Health Organization launch “25 by 25,” a resolution calling for a 25 percent reduction in premature deaths from noncommunicable diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes by 2025. To achieve this goal, a comprehensive effort commences to monitor risk factors such as smoking prevalence, access to breast and cervical cancer screening, palliative care, and vaccination coverage. 21
Temple’s Medical Education Research Building, part of the Temple University Health System campus on North Broad Street.
2012 In an historic affiliation, Fox Chase becomes a member of the Temple University Health System. Its position as a member of a major multi-affiliate health system gives Fox Chase the opportunity to increase research collaborations, expand clinical programs, and offer more services to patients. Fox Chase serves as the hub of cancer services for the entire Health System.
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David L. Wiest.
Through studies in mice and in cells, Fox Chase immunologist David L. Wiest, Ph.D., and colleagues find that mutations in a ribosomal protein called L22 hasten the development of lymphoma. The discovery— the first to show how mutations in this class of proteins can trigger the development of cancer—provides a target for the creation of new treatments for lymphoma and other blood cancers.
2 0 1 3 Richard I. Fisher, M.D., takes the helm as president and chief executive officer of Fox Chase. A nationally recognized leader in hematologic cancer treatment and research, Fisher works to recruit high-level faculty, enervate key clinical programs, and maximize Fox Chase’s relationship with its colleagues at Temple University Health System. Within two years of his tenure, the Center’s financial health makes a dramatic improvement.
Richard I. Fisher.
Rapid Access in action: ovarian cancer patient Beth Brunswick had surgery just three days after her first appointment at Fox Chase.
2014 Fox Chase launches its Rapid Access Service, guaranteeing next-business day appointments for first-time patients. The initiative erases wait times and alleviates anxiety for new patients eager to see a doctor, spurring a 14 percent increase in new patient appointments and a 41 percent increase in online registrations. Fox Chase is the first center in the region and one of the first in the nation to launch a program of this kind.
2 0 1 4 In the largest recruitment in Fox Chase history, Wafik S. El-Deiry, M.D., Ph.D., an international leader in translational research, along with his entire lab, joins the Center from the Hershey Medical Center at Penn State University. El-Deiry is tasked with enhancing Fox Chase’s already-strong translational research efforts. In early 2015, more than a dozen Translational Research Disease Groups are launched, bringing together the expertise of both scientists and physicians to collaboratively make headway against specific cancers.
“TRANSLATION IS CRUCIAL BECAUSE IT MOVES FUNDAMENTAL DISCOVERIES IN SCIENCE INTO CLINICAL TRIALS THAT WE HOPE WILL POSITIVELY IMPACT PATIENTS. — Wafik S. El-Deiry, M.D., Ph.D., deputy cancer center director for translational research
2 0 1 4 “Ask me about clinical trials” is the call-to-action of Fox Chase’s Be the Breakthrough campaign, launched in June, which encourages clinical trial education, awareness, and participation. Bright buttons on physicians’ lapels implore patients to ask for more information about trials, and a coordinated outreach campaign helps clear up misconceptions and promote benefits of clinical trials. In less than six months, clinical trial participation increases by 50 percent.
2 0 1 5 Founded in 1965 from the former Anna M. Gray Auxiliary, Fox Chase’s Board of Associates celebrates its 50th anniversary. The Board’s hundreds of volunteers—many motivated by personal or family experiences with cancer— have raised more than $22 million for research and patient care at the Center through independently organized fundraisers such as community events, dinners, trips, shows, and vendor sales.
FOX CHASE CANCER CENTER Mission: to prevail over cancer, marshaling heart and mind in bold scientific discovery, pioneering prevention, and compassionate care. Fox Chase Cancer Center, part of the Temple University Health System, is one of the leading cancer research and treatments centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 as one of the nation’s first cancer hospitals, Fox Chase was also among the first institutions to be designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1974. Fox Chase researchers have won the highest awards in their fields, including two Nobel Prizes, a Kyoto Prize in basic sciences, a Lasker Clinical Research Award, an Albert Szent-Györgyi Prize for Progress in Cancer Research, American Cancer Society Medals of Honor, memberships in the National Academy of Sciences, and induction into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. Fox Chase physicians are also routinely recognized in national rankings, and the Center’s nursing program has received the Magnet recognition for excellence four consecutive times. Today, Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research, with special programs in cancer prevention, detection, survivorship, and community outreach. For more information about Fox Chase, visit the Center’s web site at www.foxchase.org. To learn how you can support Fox Chase, call us at 215-728-2745.
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