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Fox Chase Earns Blue Distinction Centers for Complex and Rare Cancers Designation

PHILADELPHIA (October 1, 2008) — Fox Chase Cancer Center has been designated as one of the Blue Distinction Centers for Complex and Rare Cancers by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies. With complex and rare cancers comprising approximately 15 percent of new cancer cases each year, it is difficult for patients to locate and/or research facilities that specialize in this area – the Blue Distinction designation helps patients identify institutions with expertise in this specialty.
“Cancer care at Fox Chase is a team effort involving clinicians, researchers, nurses, social workers, rehabilitation therapists and many others,” said Michael V. Seiden, M.D., Ph.D., president and CEO of Fox Chase Cancer Center. “We’re proud that our Center’s culture of care and expertise in treating complex and rare cancers have been recognized by this distinction.”
Blue Distinction is a nationwide program created by Blue Cross Blue Shield Association to give consumers the information they need to make smart health care decisions and to work with their health care providers on improving the quality and affordability of their medical care. Blue Distinction identifies specialty centers that offer the best practices and highest standards in cardiac care, bariatric surgery, transplants and now complex and rare cancers.
The complex and rare cancers designation is awarded to institutions that offer multidisciplinary treatment planning and complex, major surgical treatments with subspecialty training and distinguished clinical expertise in complex and rare cancer such as esophageal cancer, bladder cancer, liver cancer, thyroid cancer, and 10 other complex and rare subtypes of cancer.

Fox Chase has earned the Blue Distinctions Center for Complex and Rare Cancers designation for esophageal cancer, pancreatic cancer, gastric cancer, rectal cancer, bladder cancer, head and neck cancer, thyroid cancer and soft tissue sarcoma.

Selection criteria for this designation are based on objective, evidence-based measurements for clinical care.
All Blue Distinction Centers for Complex and Rare Cancers provide:

  • multidisciplinary team input, including sub-specialty trained teams for complex and rare cancers and demonstrated depth of expertise across cancer disciplines in medicine, surgery, radiation oncology, pathology, and radiology;
  • ongoing quality management and improvement programs for cancer care;
  • ongoing commitment to using clinical data registries and providing access to appropriate clinical research for complex and rare cancers;
  • sufficient volume of experience in treating rare and complex cancers.

Blue Distinction Centers for Complex and Rare Cancers were developed in strategic collaboration with the National Comprehensive Cancer Network and input from leading clinicians and professional organizations.


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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