University of Pennslyvania Health Systems
Office of Public Affairs
399 South 34th Street, Suite 2002, Penn Tower, Philadelphia, PA 19104-5653

CONTACT: Olivia Fermano

(215) 349-5653 – Office

(215) 459-0546 – Cell


PENN Medicine Media Seminar Series

Frontiers in Cancer Research, Treatment & Resources

(PHILADELPHIA) – The PENN Medicine Department of Communications invites you to discover the latest in cancer research, treatment and resources. This informational luncheon and seminar features expert researchers and clinicians from the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.


November 8, 2007
Noon – 1:30 p.m.
Lunch will be served.


Moderator:  Craig B. Thompson, MD,
Director of the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania.

“Fetching” New Approaches to Cancer Treatment
Penn’s School of Medicine & School of Veterinary Medicine are Enlisting “Man’s Best Friend” in the Fight Against Cancer

Robert Vonderheide, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Hematology/Oncology from Penn’s School of Medicine and Karin Sorenmo, DVM, Chief, Oncology Section, Matthew J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital’s and Associate Professor of Oncology at Penn’s School of Veterinary Medicine, will present data on their success using an immunotherapy vaccine to treat lymphoma in pet dogs – and hopefully someday in humans as well.
Special Guest:  Lymphoma patient and clinical trial participant Kyra the Rhodesian Ridgeback and her humans Eileen and Brian Eisenhower.

Trans-oral Robotic Surgery
World’s First Robotic Procedures to Treat Head & Neck Cancers
For patients with cancer of the mouth and throat, surgery is a frequent course of treatment, often leading to speech and swallowing dysfunction and external scarring and disfigurement. Bert O’Malley, Jr. MD, Gabriel Tucker and Chair of Penn’s Department of Otorhinolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery and Gregory S. Weinstein, MD, Vice Chair of Otorhinolaryngology/Head & Neck Surgery and Co-Director of the Center for Head & Neck Cancer, have recently completed a study – the most comprehensive and largest to date – that demonstrates the effective use of the daVinci Surgical Robotic System® to perform Trans-Oral Robotic Surgery (TORS). Use of the robot greatly reduces surgical trauma for patients without compromising positive treatment outcomes.

Penn Fertility Care and The Oncofertility Consortium
Preserving the Life of Cancer Patients – Now and for Generations to Come
Clarissa Gracia, MD, Assistant Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology and  reproductive endocrinologist, will discuss her work and research in the field of oncofertility which seeks to find the most effective ways to preserve fertility in cancer patients and survivors. Dr. Gracia and her colleagues are working to find improved and effective fertility preservations options for female cancer patients. Penn Fertility care is one of only 5 institutions in the U.S. recently designated as an official inaugural member of the national Oncofertility Consortium which was awarded a $21 million grant from the NIH.

Cancer & the Web: Providing Patient Resources
Penn radiation oncologist James M, Metz, MD, is the Editor-in-Chief of OncoLink, Penn’s award-winning cancer resource – the oldest (founded in 1994), largest, and one of the most trusted sources of cancer information on the Internet. Dr. Metz will present an overview of patient-oriented cancer web sites to reveal how and where both the media and consumers can get comprehensive information about specific types of cancer, updates on cancer treatments, and news about research advances.


Contact Olivia Fermano at (215) 349-5653 or

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PENN Medicine is a $3.5 billion enterprise dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. PENN Medicine consists of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System.

Penn's School of Medicine is currently ranked #3 in the nation in U.S. News & World Report's survey of top research-oriented medical schools; and, according to most recent data from the National Institutes of Health, received over $379 million in NIH research funds in the 2006 fiscal year. Supporting 1,400 fulltime faculty and 700 students, the School of Medicine is recognized worldwide for its superior education and training of the next generation of physician-scientists and leaders of academic medicine.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System includes three hospitals — its flagship hospital, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, rated one of the nation’s “Honor Roll” hospitals by U.S. News & World Report; Pennsylvania Hospital, the nation's first hospital; and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center — a faculty practice plan; a primary-care provider network; two multi-specialty satellite facilities; and home care and hospice.
The Abramson Cancer Center (ACC) of the University of Pennsylvania is a national leader in cancer research, patient care, and education. The pre-eminent position of the Cancer Center is reflected in its continuous designation as a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute for 30 years, one of 39 such Centers in the United States. The ACC is dedicated to innovative and compassionate cancer care. The clinical program, comprised of a dedicated staff of physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, social workers, physical therapists, nutritionists and patient support specialists, currently sees over 50,000 outpatient visits, 3400 inpatient admissions, and provides over 25,000 chemotherapy treatments, and more than 65,000 radiation treatments annually. Not only is the ACC dedicated to providing state-of-the-art cancer care, the latest forms of cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment are available to our patients through clinical themes that developed in the relentless pursuit to eliminate the pain and suffering from cancer. In addition, the ACC is home to the 300 research scientists who work relentlessly to determine the pathogenesis of cancer. Together, the faculty is committed to improving the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer.



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