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Fox Chase Cancer Center Announces Plans For Region's First Center for Women's Cancers

Building on Excellence, Shaping the Future of Cancer Care


Architectural rendering of the waiting area of Fox Chase Cancer Center's Center for Woman's Cancers, courtesy of EwingCole.

PHILADELPHIA (January 4, 2007) — Fox Chase Cancer Center announced today its plans to build the region's first Center for Women's Cancers, the centerpiece of the new Cancer Research Pavilion. The Pavilion will be constructed on Fox Chase's current campus in Northeast Philadelphia. Groundbreaking is expected in March 2007.

The Center for Women's Cancers builds on Fox Chase's world-renowned expertise in breast and gynecologic cancers. It continues the Fox Chase approach of providing women with these cancers the most advanced treatments, including therapies available only through clinical trials at Fox Chase.

"The purpose of our Women's Center is to combine the most advanced, technologically superior treatment options for women's cancers in a convenient, comfortable, pleasant and relaxing atmosphere," said Monica Morrow, MD, chairman of surgical oncology, who holds the G. Willing Pepper Chair in Cancer Research. Morrow is one of the country's foremost experts in the treatment of breast cancer.

"The Center will provide a central location for women who need to see multiple physicians for breast or gynecological diseases," Morrow said. "Getting the best care is important to women. Research shows they also want a comfortable environment."

The Women's Center will include both clinical and laboratory research programs, such as the Breast Evaluation Center, Breast Cancer Center of Excellence research program, and the Specialized Program of Research Excellence in Ovarian Cancer.

The Breast Evaluation Center is directed by Lori Goldstein, MD - Director, The Naomi and Phil Lippincott Breast Evaluation Center, a medical oncologist who specializes in treating breast cancer. The Breast Evaluation Center allows a woman, in the convenience of one visit, to meet with her entire team of specialists, including the surgeon, medical oncologist, radiation oncologist and social worker. These specialists work with the women to develop a tailored comprehensive treatment plan.

The Women's Center will house the newly funded $11 million Department of Defense Breast Cancer Center of Excellence program led by V. Craig Jordan, OBE, PhD, DSc, vice president and scientific director for medical science. Jordan's research on the interaction of estrogen and breast cancer led to the widespread use of tamoxifen, a drug credited for saving the lives of thousands of women with breast cancer. This drug is also used to reduce the risk of breast cancer in high-risk women. The Center of Excellence program will benefit from the interaction of clinical and laboratory researchers working together in the Women's Center.

The Women's Center will also house the Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) in ovarian cancer. Led by Fox Chase senior vice president Robert F. Ozols, MD, PhD, the SPORE is one of only four such programs in the country sponsored by the National Cancer Institute. The SPORE includes clinical, behavioral and laboratory research.

"The concept for the Cancer Research Pavilion and Women's Center is to provide scientific opportunity with an added layer of creative interaction," said Robert C. Young, MD, Chancellor and former president of Fox Chase. "This is the final piece of phase I of our ongoing expansion plan." Earlier this year, Fox Chase opened its new Imaging Center, the first part of the initial expansion phase.

The five-story, $65-million, 125,000-square-foot Cancer Research Pavilion will adjoin the Cancer Prevention Pavilion completed in 2000. In addition to the Women's Center, the Cancer Research Pavilion will allow the radiation oncology department to expand, making it one of the largest academic radiation oncology programs on the East Coast.

"We'll continue to develop and investigate the most advanced technologies in the field of radiation oncology," said Alan Pollack, MD, PhD, chairman of the radiation oncology department. "For years, Fox Chase has been regarded as a leader in radiation oncology, which has created the need to grow our capacity to treat more patients. That growth brings with it an incredible opportunity for advancing research in the field."

The Cancer Research Pavilion will also have a large floor dedicated to laboratory research with state-of-the-art wet laboratories and a floor for researchers working in population sciences: epidemiologists, genetic epidemiologists and specialists in behavioral intervention among high-risk patients. The proximity between these laboratories and the clinical space is intentional.

"Our goal is to enhance the collaboration among basic, clinical and prevention researchers to translate innovative cancer therapies more quickly into clinical settings," explained Young. "Because the Cancer Research Pavilion combines research laboratories with treatment facilities, we can increase the interaction opportunities between scientists and clinicians.

"The Cancer Research Pavilion addresses broad needs of our institution-the expansion of clinical and outpatient facilities as well as laboratory space to accommodate multidisciplinary research and patient care," Young added.

In addition to clinical and research expertise, the Cancer Research Pavilion will be home to innovative architectural design, which has always been a priority at Fox Chase. Following its construction in 1967, the current inpatient facility received accolades for providing patients with environmental elements to provide a more comforting experience. Continuing this trend, the Cancer Research Pavilion will incorporate elements of evidence-based design such as natural lighting, soothing settings, aesthetically appealing decor, common areas that enhance and encourage social support, and comfortable waiting areas with privacy.

"Studies show the physical environment plays a significant role in women's treatments and their choice for care," says Morrow. "We are designing a space with a feeling similar to a spa rather than a hospital."

Excavation of the building's site is expected to begin in March 2007. EwingCole of Philadelphia designed the new building. P. Agnes, Inc. of Philadelphia will carry out the construction.

Proposed Layout for Cancer Research Pavilion

  • Lower Level: Radiation oncology facilities, patient care area
  • First Floor: Outpatient services, Center for Women's Cancers, meeting rooms
  • Second & Third Floors: State-of-the-art research laboratory facilities, offices, meeting rooms
  • Fourth Floor: Population science research division, meeting rooms
  • Fifth Floor: Mechanical, electrical and air-handling equipment

Fox Chase Cancer Center, part of the Temple University Health System, is one of the leading cancer research and treatment centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia 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. 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, call 1-888-FOX CHASE or (1-888-369-2427).

Media inquiries only, please contact Diana Quattrone at 215-728-7784.

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