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The Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University Named Melanoma Center of Excellence

(PHILADELPHIA) The Kimmel Cancer Center (KCC) at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia has been recognized by The Melanoma Hope Network (MHN) as a Melanoma Center of Excellence (MCE). The KCC is one of the first 10 cancer centers to be designated as an MCE by the network. MHN has designated MCEs across the United States to recognize melanoma treatment centers and doctors, both academic and community-based, that offer exceptional care, knowledge and compassion to patients diagnosed with melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer and also the major cause of death in adult eye tumors.

“Jefferson physicians strive to define the diagnostic and treatment programs that best serve individual melanoma patients’ needs,” says Michael J. Mastrangelo, M.D., director of the melanoma program in the Department of Medical Oncology at Jefferson Medical College and Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. “The focus is on immunobiology and immunotherapy.”

“The naming of the Kimmel Cancer Center as a Melanoma Center of Excellence reflects the long tradition of translational discovery by Drs. Mastrangelo and Takami Sato,” says KCC director Richard Pestell, M.D., Ph.D., professor and chair of cancer biology at Jefferson Medical College. “Their recent studies have directly impacted the lives of melanoma patients. Those patients who have been successfully treated in Dr. Sato’s clinical trials are a living testimony to the success of his research, and the mission at Jefferson.”

MHN is a non-profit organization established to bring hope, education and direct personal support to patients diagnosed with melanoma. MNH strives to support research, increase patient awareness of clinical trials, and assists primary physicians in finding the appropriate treatments for their patients in their particular stage of melanoma. MHN also acts as a central place for melanoma centers across the country to collaborate, share data and to update and educate their staffs.

“The honor that we received from MHN will facilitate the further expansion of the Melanoma Program at KCC at Jefferson,” says Dr. Sato, who is director of the metastatic uveal melanoma program in Jefferson’s Department of Medical Oncology.

Melanoma accounts for about four percent of cancer cases, but it causes most deaths among patients with skin cancer as well as adult patients with eye cancer. The number of new cases of melanoma in the United States is on the rise. The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2006 there will be 62,190 new cases of melanoma in this country. About 7,910 people will die of this disease.

 

Published: 12/06
Contact: Steve Benowitz or Jackie Kozloski
Thomas Jefferson University
215/955-6300
After Hours: 215/955-6060

 
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