About Abramson Cancer Center
Abramson Cancer Center currently assists over 100,000 cancer patients every year and is well equipped to help people with mesothelioma. The center uses a multidisciplinary approach to treatment, in which experts from numerous fields will come together to help develop the best treatment plan possible.
“We are a life-changing, community-changing, world-changing cancer center.”
— Abramson Cancer Center
Abramson Cancer Center operates out of several top-ranked hospitals, including Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, Chester County Hospital, and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
Abramson Cancer Center Location & Overview
Here’s what patients interested in working with Abramson Cancer Center should know about this mesothelioma treatment facility:
- Ranked the #7 cancer program in the United States
- Located at eight different hospitals throughout Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley
- More mesothelioma treatment options than most American hospitals
- Develops individualized treatment plans for each mesothelioma patient
Abramson Cancer Center Patient Experience
Abramson Cancer Center is built on the belief that everything society does has a monumental impact on the lives around us. Therefore, the Abramson team is proud of the determination, compassion and personal attention they devote to every patient.
“We are consistently recognized nationally and internationally for excellence in healthcare. The cornerstone of our reputation is our medical and support staff, who choose to dedicate their careers to serving the needs of our patients and community.”
— Abramson Cancer Center
Abramson Cancer Center is committed to developing personalized treatment plans, which means each patient will receive the therapeutic strategy that is most likely to have the best results for their specific circumstance. This approach is crucial for mesothelioma patients, where each stage and symptom requires its own treatment strategy.
Abramson Cancer Center also provides patients with all their possible treatment options, giving individuals more choices than they would find at other facilities. These choices are due to Abramson’s diverse team of professionals across a range of fields, advanced use of research and technology, and people-first approach to healing.
Patients treated at Abramson Cancer Center can expect to work with a caring, multidisciplinary team experienced with mesothelioma.
The team prides itself on coordinated collaboration between thoracic surgeons, medical oncologists, radiologists, pulmonologists, and pathologists. These specialists all work together to evaluate and diagnose mesothelioma patients and determine a treatment plan that will provide the best possible outcome.
Perhaps of highest importance, Abramson Cancer Center has a reputation for being responsive and sensitive to patients’ physical, mental and emotional needs.
Abramson Cancer Center’s Mesothelioma and Pleural Disease Program focuses on providing the best possible therapies for mesothelioma patients. Firmly dedicated to research, Abramson utilizes the latest advancements in medical research and technology to treat patients with proven techniques and ground-breaking therapies.
Though the Center primarily treats pleural mesothelioma, their mesothelioma team is fully equipped to treat pericardial and peritoneal mesothelioma as well with specialized treatments for these two types.
Currently, Abramson Cancer Center’s mesothelioma program is led by the following doctors:
- Dr. Christine Ciunci, MD, MSCE
- Dr. Corey Langer, MD
- Dr. Steven Albelda, MD
- Dr. Evan Alley, MD, PhD
- Dr. Keith Cengel, MD, PhD
- Dr. Joel Deitz, MD
- Dr. David DiBardino, MD
- Dr. Tracey Evans, MD
- Dr. Richard Greenberg, MD
- Dr. Andrew Haas, MD
- Dr. Anthony Lanfranco, MD
- Dr. William Levin, MD
- Dr. Edmund Moon, MD
- Dr. Sunil Singhal, MD
- Dr. Anil Vachani, MD
Mesothelioma Treatment Options at Abramson Cancer Center
Numerous mesothelioma treatment options are available at Abramson Cancer Center. As one of the top mesothelioma treatment facilities in the nation, Abramson Cancer Center offers the latest methods and approaches to treatment, including:
- Surgery: Abramson has several thoracic oncology surgeons with expertise in removing lung cancers, including pleural mesothelioma. Surgical removal is often the first line of offense for mesothelioma patients. The Center performs all standard mesothelioma surgeries including extrapleural pneumonectomy, pleurectomy with decortication and cytoreduction surgery.
- Chemotherapy: The medical oncologists at Abramson have ample experience developing and administering intravenous and ingested chemotherapy treatment plans. This traditional cancer treatment can be a highly effective means of treating mesothelioma, especially when combined with other therapies.
- Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC): A newer twist on chemo, heated chemotherapy or HIPEC administers a warmed-up chemo solution directly to affected organs and tissues during a surgical procedure. HIPEC is one of the best treatment options for peritoneal mesothelioma to date.
- Photodynamic Therapy: Brought to Abramson by Dr. Joseph Friedberg, photodynamic therapy uses low-level beams of light to target cancer cells. Mesothelioma patients undergoing the treatment will take a light-sensitive medication before surgery. Once the visible tumors and cancer have been removed during the surgery, a light source is applied to the treatment area. It then interacts with the light-sensitive medication to create a cancer-killing chemical.
- Radiation Therapy: The Department of Radiation Oncology at Abramson can perform intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), a highly accurate and precise form of radiation therapy often combined with surgery and chemotherapy.
- Immunotherapy: Abramson uses immunotherapy to help prevent cancer from returning after removal. Immunotherapy attempts to boost the antibodies in a patient’s immune system to help prevent new cancer cells from forming.
Clinical Trials, Studies & Research at Abramson Cancer Center
Abramson Cancer Center is currently conducting a couple dozen clinical trials for patients with various stages of mesothelioma, in an attempt to improve treatment options and survival rates.
Treatment trials review potential new therapies for treating mesothelioma and use volunteers to test options that are on the road to receiving approval. For example, one current trial is reviewing the optimal combination of chemotherapy, radiation and surgery for mesothelioma patients. These clinical trials vary in their approach and currently examine chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and antibody immunotherapy across the various studies.
Non-treatment trials are meant for patients who have already undergone some form of treatment or therapy for mesothelioma. For example, one clinical trial is reviewing the long-term outcomes of patients who received photodynamic therapy. Another is testing whether the nicotine-alternative varenicline will help minimize smoking relapses in cancer patients who smoked before treatment.
Abramson also has numerous solid tumor trials to evaluate the behavior of tumors and test for new potential treatment options. Many of Abramson’s solid tumor clinical trials are studying the behavior of cell signals and antibodies. These are typically Phase 1 or 2 trials, which manipulate cells to improve the immune system’s response to mesothelioma or attempt to prevent cancer cells from being created in the first place.
All of the clinical trials and research at Abramson Cancer Center are meant to further the world’s understanding of cancer and ability to treat it more effectively. Significant progress towards a mesothelioma cure has been made over the past couple decades, and Abramson is continuing to work towards that goal.
Abramson Cancer Center is backed by a specialized scientific research team, which works tirelessly to develop new treatments for many forms of cancer. There are more than 400 basic, clinical and translational scientists on the Abramson team working to unlock the mysteries behind cancer’s growth and development.
Abramson Cancer Center Insurance Information
Penn Medicine and the Abramson Cancer Center accept the majority of health insurance plans, including Aetna, Cigna, Humana, and United Health Group.
The plans and coverage options for patients do change occasionally as the hospital strives to work with insurance providers to treat as many people as possible. For the most up-to-date information on accepted insurance plans, please call 1-800-789-4366 (PENN).
Abramson Cancer Center’s accepted insurance plans include:
- Amerihealth Administrators
- Blue Cross & Blue Shield National Medicare Advantage PPO
- Blue Shield
- Cigna Health Plan
- Cigna HealthSpring
- Community Behavioral Health (CBH)
- Coventry Health Care
- Devon Health Services, Inc
- Drexel University Student Health
- First Health Network
- Gateway Health Medicare Advantage
- Gateway Medicare
- Geisinger Health Plan
- (excludes Geisinger Health Plan Family)
- Great West
- Health America / Health Assurance
- Health Net of the Northeast, Inc.
- Health Partners
- Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey
- (including Atlanticare HMO)
- Humana/ChoiceCare Network PPO
- Independence Blue Cross
- (including Keystone Health Plan East, Personal Choice, AmeriHealth NJ, AmeriHealth Administrators)
- Keystone First Health Plan
- Keystone Health Plan East
- Keystone VIP Choice
- LIFE Living Independently for Elders
- OneNet PPO
- Optum Health
- Penn Global Medicine
- Pennsylvania Medicaid
- Personal Choice
- Preferred Care
- Qual Care of New Jersey
- Traditional Medicare
- United Behavioral Health (UBH)
- United Healthcare Community Plan
- United Healthcare PPO
- US Family Health Plan