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Interim Chief, Division of Gynecologic Oncology
Professor, Department of Surgical Oncology
Director, Gynecologic Oncology Fellowship Program
NCCN, Cervical/Uterine Cancers Panel Member
I consider it an honor to be able to care for women with gynecologic cancer. One of the reasons that I chose the field of gynecologic oncology is the unique opportunity I have to help provide both breadth and depth of care for women with cancer and complex benign disease. In my practice, I am able to offer a full range of individualized therapies: State-of-the-art surgery, including minimally invasive techniques, as well as chemotherapy and cutting-edge clinical trials. Through this continuity of care, I find that the relationships that I am able to form with women and their families are among the most rewarding aspects of my life.
I was thrilled to join Fox Chase in 2014 after receiving my training and spending the first 12 years of my career at the University of Pennsylvania. As an NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, Fox Chase offers the best in patient-centered care and innovative research. I believe that we must make progress in the fight against cancer, and I have particular interest in clinical trials for the treatment of ovarian, endometrial and cervical cancers. I have served as principal investigator of multiple trials of novel agents and my research interests focus on investigational immunotherapies, including tumor vaccination and adoptive immunotherapy for ovarian cancer, as well as therapeutic HPV vaccination. I also have particular interests in weight loss interventions to modify risk for women with endometrial hyperplasia and endometrial cancer.
I believe in treating patients as if they were my own family. With the fantastic team in place here at Fox Chase, it is my goal to be able to help patients and their families be surrounded not only by the latest in medical expertise, but also by a community of caring to help support them through difficult times.
I’ve always been a relatively healthy person. I’m 46 years old and have never had any major health concerns. That’s why I wasn’t too worried at first when I noticed a somewhat unusual protrusion from my abdomen. I assumed I had just gained some weight and told myself I needed to get on top of it. It wasn’t until my annual OBGYN appointment that I found out it was much more serious than that.
I’m 89 years old, and I love my life. I have a wonderful family who I adore. I have two grown children, four granddaughters, and four great-granddaughters—and a fifth great-grandchild on the way! I’m a fabulous cook and baker, and I love to travel.
When I was diagnosed with cancer, it was a total shock. I’d watched my husband of 50 years die of lung cancer, and I saw what he went through. So I was scared.
In 2001 at the age of 18, I was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which is a hormonal disorder common among women. I handled it over the years with birth control and eventually an IUD, but in 2014 things started to change. My periods became unpredictable. I was feeling different and bleeding much worse than I ever had before. I knew something was going on and during that time, I saw many different OBGYNs, but oftentimes their response was, “You have PCOS, this is the expected.” But I knew my body and I knew this wasn’t normal for me.
I work as a nurse in the operating room at Fox Chase Cancer Center, so I know how important it is to get specialized care for a cancer diagnosis. A few years ago, my husband and I had decided to start a family. After some time, nothing was happening and since I was getting close to my mid-thirties, we decided to seek fertility treatment. During a routine ultrasound at my first appointment, they found a cyst about the size of a softball on my ovary.
Clinical trials for the evaluation of novel chemotherapies and immunotherapies for gynecologic malignancies.
Effectiveness and safety of expanded perioperative thromboprophylaxis in complex gynecologic surgery. Corr BR, Winter AM, Sammel MD, Chu CS, Gage BF, Hagemann AR. Gynecol Oncol. 2015 Sep;138(3):501-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2015.07.017. Epub 2015 Jul 14. PMID: 26186912
Clinical predictors of bevacizumab-associated gastrointestinal perforation. Tanyi JL, McCann G, Hagemann AR, Coukos G, Rubin SC, Liao JB, Chu CS. Gynecol Oncol. 2011 Mar;120(3):464-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2010.11.009. Epub 2010 Dec 17.
Braly P, Nicodemus CF, Chu C, Collins Y, Edwards R, Gordon A, McGuire W, Schoonmaker C, Whiteside T, Smith LM, Method M. The immune adjuvant properties of front-line carboplatin-paclitaxel: A randomized phase II study of alternative schedules of intravenous oregovomab-chemo-immunotherapy in advanced ovarian cancer. J Immunother 2009; 32:54-65.
Katz E, Dugan NL, Cohn JC, Chu C, Smith RG, Schmitz KH. Weight lifting in patients with lower extremity lymphedema secondary to cancer: A pilot and feasibility study. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 2010; 91:1070-6.
Hagemann AR, Cadungog M, Hagemann IS, Hammond R, Adams SF, Chu, CS, Rubin SC, Zhang L, Addya K, Birrer MJ, Gimmoty PA, Coukos G. Tissue-based immune monitoring I: Tumor core needle biopsies allow in-depth interrogation of the tumor microenvironment. Cancer Biol Ther, 2011; 12(4):357-66.
Hagemann AR, Hagemann IS, Cadungog M, Hwang WT, Patel P, Lal P, Hammond R, Gimotty PA, Chu CS, Rubin SC, Coukos G. Tissue-based immune monitoring II: Multiple tumor sites reveal immunologic homogeneity in serous ovarian carcinoma. Cancer Biol Ther 2011; 12(4):367-77.
Chu CS, Boyer J, Schullery DS, Gimotty PA, Gamerman V, Bender J, Levine BL, Coukos G, Rubin SC, Morgan MA, Vonderheide RH, June CH. Phase I/II randomized trial of dendritic cell vaccination with or without cyclophosphasmide for consolidation therapy of advanced ovarian cancer in first or second remission. Cancer Immunol Immunother 2012; 61(5):629-641.
Bahng AY, Chu CS, Wileyto P, Rubin SC, Lin LL. Risk factors for recurrence amongst high intermediate risk patients with endometrioid adenocarcinoma. J Gynecol Oncol 2012; 23(4):257-64.
Brown JC, Cheville A, Chu CS, Schmitz KH. The prevalence of lymphedema symptoms among long-term cancer survivors with or at-risk for lower limb lymphedema. Am J Phys Med Rehab 2013; 92(3):223-31.
Chu CS, Boyer JD, Jawad A, McDonald K, Rogers WT, Prak ETL, Sullivan KE. Immunologic consequences of chemotherapy for ovarian cancer: Impaired responses to the influenza vaccine. Vaccine 2013; 31:5435-42.
Brown JC, John GM, Segal S, Chu CS, Schmitz KH. Physical activity and lower limb lymphedema among uterine cancer survivors. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2013; 45:2091-7.
Anwer K, Kelly FJ, Chu C, Jewell JG, Lewis D, Alvarez RD. Phase I trial of a formulated IL-12 plasmid in combination with carboplatin and docetaxel chemotherapy in the treatment of platinum-sensitive recurrent ovarian cancer. Gynecol Oncol 2013; 131:169-73.
Simpkins F, Flores A, Chu C, Berek JS, Lucci III J, Murray S, Bauman J, Struemper H, Germaschewski F, Jonak Z, Gardner O, Toso J, Coukos G. Chemoimmunotherapy using pegylated liposomal Doxorubicin and interleukin-18 in recurrent ovarian cancer: a phase I dose-escalation study. Cancer Immunol Res 2013; 1:168-78.
Hammer SM, Brown JC, Segal S, Chu CS, Schmitz K. Cancer-related impairments influence physical activity in uterine cancer survivors. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2014 Dec;46(12):2195-201.
Brown JC, Lin LL, Segal S, Chu CS, Haggerty AE, Ko EM, Schmitz KH. Physical activity, daily walking, and lower limb lymphedema associate with physical function among uterine cancer survivors. Support Care Cancer. 2014 Nov;22(11):2017-25.
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