The goal of the Abramson Cancer Center (ACC) of the University of Pennsylvania is to bring together more than 310 members to transform the paradigm of patient-centered cancer care and cancer control by integrating high impact Programs of basic, clinical, and population-based research, fostering pioneering scientific discoveries, and facilitating the translation of these discoveries into clinical practice. In doing so, the ACC builds upon the great clinical cancer care at renowned hospitals of the University of Pennsylvania and the Children?s Hospital of the Philadelphia. The ACC continues to build on its significant historical strengths in basic cancer biology, translational immunotherapy, and population science research. By leveraging the infusion of new Institutional resources and significant philanthropic resources, the ACC will continue to innovate to reduce the burden of cancer in our catchment area during the next project period and will seek to: (1) Accelerate and expand its leadership in adoptive cellular immunotherapy, combination immune checkpoint therapies, and vaccine development for both prevention and treatment of cancers. (2) Increase translation of cancer basic biology through the philanthropic and Institutionally supported ACC Translational Centers of Excellence that integrate basic, translational and clinical scientists from the ACC Programs to impact on the prevention, detection, and treatment of specific types of cancers that afflict our catchment area. (3) Accelerate precision cancer medicine through novel Molecular Imaging, the Center for Personalized Diagnostics, the Molecular Tumor Board, and the Circulating Tumor Material Developing Core, which were implemented in the past project period, and the implementation of the Center for Rare Cancers and Personalized Therapy in the next project period. (4) Innovate means to understand, prevent, and treat therapy-resistant cancers by incorporating genomics, epigenomics, informatics and research in cancer metabolism, which is frequently re-wired in resistance to targeted therapies. (5) Lead population-based research through recruitment and research tools in genetics and complex traits with an emphasis on cancer epidemiology. Implement projects in cancer molecular epidemiology among patients of African descent and accelerate our Outreach Program to increase research relevant to our catchment area. (6) Launch a new Brain and Behavior Change initiative and harness new tools from cognitive neurosciences to control cancer by modulating behaviors that predispose to smoking or contribute to obesity. Lead in Toxicology and Environmental Carcinogenesis to understand environmental toxins and impact the health of patients with mesothelioma in our catchment area.
Cancer is the second leading cause of the death in the United States and is prevalent in our ethnically diverse catchment area, which consists of 15 contiguous counties of the Greater Delaware Valley covering the States of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware, from which 87% of all ACC's patients originate. Through our research initiatives, our Programs are positioned to address the burden imposed by highly prevalent cancers in the catchment area, including breast, lung, and gastrointestinal cancers. Basic, clinical, and population science research in the ACC are integrated to prevent, diagnose, and treat these cancers not only in our catchment area, but also well beyond this boundary. In addition, our Program in Melanoma and Cutaneous Malignancies actively engages the community through education and outreach to reduce sun exposure and impact legislation to restrict access to tanning salons.
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