Anthony Villano, MD

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Clinical Locations

Clinical Instructor, Surgical Oncology

Treatment Focus

  • Minimally invasive
  • Robotic surgery

Key Awards

  • 2022, Fox Chase Cancer Center John Ridge Fellowship Award
  • 2021, Fox Chase Cancer Center Young Investigator’s Award
  • 2020, Best Clinical Research Award- DC Chapter of the American College of Surgeons All Surgeons’ Day
  • 2020, Best Clinical Research Award- Hufnagel Research Symposium, Medstar Georgetown University Hospital
  • 2016, Best Basic Science Research Award- Hufnagel Research Symposium, Medstar Georgetown University Hospital
  • 2014, Medstar Georgetown Excellence in Resident Teaching Award

Treatment Philosophy

It is an honor and privilege to work at an institution such as Fox Chase Cancer Center which dedicates itself to personalized, comprehensive care of its patients. Treatment of cancer is a complicated process which involves the coordination of multiple teams. We are fortunate at Fox Chase Cancer Center to have robust treatment teams in every field of Oncology. I feel that a multidisciplinary team approach is absolutely critical to proper cancer treatment. Every patient is unique, and thus every treatment plan should be appropriately unique and individualized. 

My treatment philosophy is centered on a simple ideology: how would I want my family to be treated? A new cancer diagnosis is undoubtedly scary and stressful. It is my goal during every patient visit to explain concepts thoroughly, create a comfortable environment where questions are answered, and participate in a shared decision-making strategy. I want every patient to leave the office confident knowing they have an entire team supporting them throughout their care and that they are active participants in how they are treated.

I received my medical degree from Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and completed my General Surgery training at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. During that time, I spent 2 additional years performing research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center where I fostered skills I use today to design research protocols for diseases I treat. I then completed my Surgical Oncology training at Fox Chase Cancer Center where I am thrilled to currently practice. 

I have dedicated training in minimally invasive and robotic surgical approaches to various cancer types and employ these techniques whenever safe and feasible. My practice is diverse and I treat a variety of cancers including stomach, small bowel, colon, rectal, liver, pancreas, skin, and soft tissue sarcoma. I am also actively involved in research to improve treatment in many of these diseases. I have developed active research protocols to help identify novel treatment approaches in rare cancers such as soft tissue sarcoma.

It is a true honor to treat cancer patients and I am proud to work at a center where compassion, teamwork, and innovation are embodied. It is my number one priority to ensure you receive the highest quality of care.

Educational Background

  • Fellow in Complex General Surgical Oncology, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA, 2022
  • Resident Physician in General Surgery, Medstar Georgetown University Hospital, Washington DC, 2013-2020
  • Complex General Surgical Oncology Research Fellowship, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, NY, NY, 2015-2017
  • Doctor of Medicine, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, NJ, 2013
  • BS, Biology, Muhlenberg College, Allentown, PA, 2009

Certifications

  • American Board of Surgery, 2020

Memberships

  • Alpha Omega Alpha Honors Society 
  • American Colleges of Surgeons 
  • Washington DC Chapter American College of Surgeons, 2013 – 2020
  • Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract
  • Association for Academic Surgery 
  • Society of Surgical Oncology
  • Americas Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association 
  • International Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association 
  • Metro Philadelphia Chapter American College of Surgeons​

Honors & Awards

  • John Ridge Fellowship Award, 2022
  • Metropolitan Philadelphia Chapter ACS Poster Competition Awardee – 2nd place, 2021
  • Fox Chase Cancer Center Young Investigator’s Award, 2021
  • Best Clinical Research Award- DC Chapter of the American College of Surgeons All Surgeons’ Day, 2020
  • Best Clinical Research Award- Hufnagel Research Symposium, Medstar Georgetown University Hospital, 2020
  • American College of Surgeons Leadership Conference and Advocacy Summit Scholarship, 2020
  • Best Basic Science Research Award- Hufnagel Research Symposium, Medstar Georgetown University Hospital, 2016
  • Medstar Georgetown Excellence in Resident Teaching Award, 2014

Research Interests

I have a particular interest in studying cancer outcomes across a wide variety of diseases. I leverage large datasets to study trends in treatment, disparities in access and implementation of care, and effects of novel treatment strategies. These studies aim to inform the basis of policy change or future trials to test novel therapeutic strategies which may improve cancer outcomes. 

My translational research focuses on the study of retroperitoneal soft tissue sarcoma, an extremely rare disease in which large tumors arise in the abdomen. Owing to their rarity, very little is known about their underlying biology and there are few effective treatment options. I created and implemented a research protocol which studies why these tumors develop and looks to identify novel therapeutic strategies for treatment.

Selected Publications

Villano AM, O'Halloran E, Goel N, Ruth K, Barrak D, Lefton M, Reddy SS. Total neoadjuvant therapy is associated with improved overall survival and pathologic response in pancreatic adenocarcinoma. J Surg Oncol. 2022 Apr 27. doi: 10.1002/jso.26906. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35476892. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35476892/)

Barrak D, Villano AM, Villafane-Ferriol N, Stockton LG, Hill MV, Deng M, Handorf EA, Reddy SS. Total neoadjuvant therapy for pancreatic adenocarcinoma increases probability for a complete pathologic response. Eur J Surg Oncol. 2022 Jan 5. doi: 10.1016/j.ejso.2021.12.473. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35016837. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35016837/)

Villano AM, Vidri RJ, Vo ET, Greco SH, Howell KJ, VonMehren M, Farma JM. National Trends in Treatment for Retroperitoneal Soft Tissue Sarcoma: A Modern Appraisal of Variability in Therapeutic Strategies. Ann Surg Oncol. 2021 Oct 11. doi: 10.1245/s10434-021-10908-z. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34635978. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34635978/)

Villano AM, Farma JM. ASO Author Reflections:  Retroperitoneal soft tissue sarcoma--A call for collaboration and scientific inquiry. Ann Surg Oncol. 2021 Oct 16. doi: 10.1245/s10434-021-10914-1. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34657199. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34657199/)

Villano AM, Zeymo A, Nigam A, Chan KS, Shara N, Unger KR, Al-Refaie WB. Radical excision for retroperitoneal soft tissue sarcoma: A national propensity-matched outcomes analysis. Surgery. 2020 Nov;168(5):831-837. doi: 10.1016/j.surg.2020.05.031. Epub 2020 Jul 21. PMID: 32709488. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32709488/)

Villano AM, Barrak D, Jain A, Meslar E, Radkani P, Chalhoub W, Haddad N, Winslow E, Fishbein T, Hawksworth J. Robot-assisted combined pancreatectomy/hepatectomy for metastatic pancreatic acinar cell carcinoma: case report and review of the literature. Clin J Gastroenterol. 2020 Oct;13(5):973-980. doi: 10.1007/s12328-020-01146-z. Epub 2020 Jun 25. PMID: 32583372. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32583372/)

Villano AM, Zeymo A, Unger KR, Chan KS, Shara N, Al-Refaie WB. Variation in Retroperitoneal Soft Tissue Sarcoma Outcomes by Hospital Type: A National Cancer Database Analysis. JCO Oncol Pract. 2020 Sep;16(9):e991-e1003. doi: 10.1200/JOP.19.00460. Epub 2020 Apr 8. PMID: 32267809. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32267809/)

Villano AM, Zeymo A, Houlihan BK, Bayasi M, Al-Refaie WB, Chan KS. Minimally Invasive Surgery for Colorectal Cancer: Hospital Type Drives Utilization and Outcomes. J Surg Res. 2020 Mar;247:180-189. doi: 10.1016/j.jss.2019.07.102. Epub 2019 Nov 18. PMID: 31753556 (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31753556/)

Villano AM, Zeymo A, Chan KS, Shara NM, Al-Refaie WB. Identifying the Minimum Volume Threshold for Retroperitoneal Soft Tissue Sarcoma Resection: Merging National Data with Consensus Expert Opinion. J Am Coll Surg. 2020 Jan;230(1):151-160.e2. doi: 10.1016/j.jamcollsurg.2019.09.013. Epub 2019 Oct 28. PMID: 31672672. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31672672/)

Villano AM, Zeymo A, McDermott J, Crocker A, Zeck J, Chan KS, Shara N, Kim S, Al-Refaie WB. Evaluating Dissemination of Adequate Lymphadenectomy for Gastric Cancer in the USA. J Gastrointest Surg. 2019;23(11):2119‐2128. doi:10.1007/s11605-019-04138-8. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30788715/)

Additional Publications

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