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Burtness Named Chief of Head and Neck Oncology at Fox Chase Cancer Center

Barbara Burtness, MD Barbara Burtness, MD

PHILADELPHIA (May 27, 2008) - Fox Chase Cancer Center has named medical oncologist Barbara Burtness, MD, chief of head and neck oncology. An accomplished clinical investigator, Burtness has specific expertise in the treatment of head and neck, esophageal, pancreatic and colorectal cancers.

Board-certified in medical oncology and internal medicine, Burtness chairs the head and neck cancer committee for the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group. She is a member of the National Cancer Institute's head and neck cancer steering committee and serves on the head and neck cancer guidelines committee for the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, which develops state-of-the-art treatment guidelines for specific cancer.

Burtness has been active in developing the biologic monoclonal-antibody therapy called cetuximab for patients with head and neck cancers. She chairs the Oncology Expert Committee of the United States Parmacopeia (USP) and serves on the USP Model Guidelines Committee, establishing the standard drug classifications used in the Medicare part D benefit.

Before joining Fox Chase, Burtness was associate professor in the department of internal medicine and director of the gastrointestinal oncology unit at Yale University. She serves on the medical advisory council for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, Inc. (PanCan), which is the first national patient advocacy organization for the pancreatic cancer community.

Burtness received her medical degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. She completed her residency in internal medicine at Yale-New Haven Hospital. In addition, she completed a fellowship in hematology-oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.


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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