Crystal S. Denlinger, MD, FACP

Dr. Crystal Denlinger

Clinical Locations

Primary Location

Fox Chase Cancer Center
333 Cottman Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19111


Chief, Division of Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology

Director, Survivorship Program

Deputy Director, Early Clinical Drug Development Phase 1 Program ​

Associate Professor, Department of Hematology/Oncology

TRDG Member, Colorectal and SI Cancer; Esophagus, Pancreas, and Liver Cancer

Clinical Associate Professor (Adjunct), Department of Medicine-Oncology, Lewis Katz School of Medicine, Temple University

NCCN, Esophageal/Gastric Cancers Panel Member

NCCN, Survivorship Panel Member

Treatment Focus

Gastroesophageal cancers (esophagus, GE junction, and stomach cancers); liver, gall bladder & bile duct cancer; Cancer Survivorship

Research Program

Key Awards

National Comprehensive Cancer Center Foundation Young Investigator Award, 2012-2014

Treatment Philosophy

Each patient is unique, with different goals and wishes for their lives and individual cases of cancer.  As a medical oncologist, I strive to ensure the best possible treatment for my patients.  As a gastrointestinal cancer specialist, I work in a multidisciplinary fashion with my colleagues in surgery, radiation oncology, and gastroenterology to provide a holistic approach to the patient and his or her cancer. This may include standard treatment options or experimental therapies on a clinical trial, reflective of my interest in developing new and more effective therapies for gastrointestinal cancers.  I work with patients to identify their goals and tailor treatment to meet all of their needs.  In addition, I work to ensure a high level of quality of life during treatment.  This is reflective of my interest in cancer survivorship, which addresses the effects of cancer and its treatment on the individual and their lives and families. 

Facing a diagnosis of cancer is a daunting and difficult challenge.  I believe it is my responsibility to make that diagnosis easier to understand and provide guidance as to how to meet that challenge head-on.  Once the journey has begun, my role is to ensure that each patient has the best tools to face their disease, in keeping with their goals for treatment.  At the end of the road, my role is to help each patient transition to the end of their life in keeping with their wishes.  In each of these stages, I strive to work with patients and families to provide the best and most comprehensive care to meet their needs.

Education and Training

Educational Background

  • Fellow, Hematology/Oncology, Fox Chase Cancer Center/Temple University Hospital, Philadelphia, PA
  • Resident, Internal Medicine, Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York, NY
  • MD, New Jersey Medical School, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Newark, NJ


  • Diplomate, Medical Oncology, American Board of Internal Medicine, 2007
  • Diplomate, Internal Medicine, American Board of Internal Medicine, 2004, 2014 


  • National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN)
    • Esophageal/Gastric Cancers Panel
    • JNCCN Editorial Board
    • Survivorship Panel
    • Survivorship Panel: Anxiety and Depression
    • Survivorship Panel: Cardiac Toxicity
    • Survivorship Panel: Menopause
    • Survivorship Panel: Physical Activity/Nutrition/Weight Management (Healthy Lifestyles)
  • Academic GI Cancer Consortium
  • American College of Physicians
  • American Society of Clinical Oncology
  • Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group, Gastrointestinal Cancer Committee
  • National Comprehensive Cancer Network, Chair, National Comprehensive Cancer Network Cancer Survivorship Panel; Gastric Cancer Panel, Chemotherapy Subcommittee Member, Genetics Subcommittee Member; Esophageal Cancer Panel, Chemotherapy Subcommittee Member, Genetics Subcommittee Member
  • Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society, Associate Member

Honors & Awards

  • Special Contributor Award, Fox Chase Cancer Center, 2014
  • CHASE Award, Fox Chase Cancer Center Annual Cancer Survivors Celebration, 2011
  • Participant, ASCO/AACR Methods in Clinical Cancer Research Workshop, Vail, CO, 2008
  • ASCO Foundation Merit Award, ASCO Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium, Orlando, FL, 2007
Patient Stories

Tiffany Mannino Dillon

Breast Cancer

Tiffany Mannino Dillon

Breast Cancer

I remember the day I was diagnosed so clearly. December 16, 2009. 

Sterling Randolph

Colorectal Cancer

Sterling Randolph

Colorectal Cancer

Sitting in my car on the side of the road, it was like time had stopped. All I could think about was my family. What would they do without me?

Kathy Petrozelli

Breast Cancer

Kathy Petrozelli

Breast Cancer

When Kathy Petrozelli found out she had breast cancer in 2005, she was shocked even though she screened for it every year since her mother had breast cancer. After genetic testing revealed she was a carrier of a genetic mutation that increased her risk for breast cancer and recurrence, she sought a second opinion at Fox Chase Cancer Center. She first opted for a lumpectomy and then a hysterectomy to rule out her chances for getting ovarian cancer. Later, she underwent a simple bilateral mastectomy, which she, at first, tried to avoid. Kathy's final treatment at Fox Chase was in 2013, and today she is cancer free, though she still follows up regularly with her doctors. "I will never forget what the doctors at Fox Chase did for me and for my family. There is no doubt in my mind that they saved my life," she said. "I was impressed with everyone at Fox Chase. They proved to be some of the most compassionate, caring people I’ve ever met."

Barbara Lanza

Pancreatic Cancer

Barbara Lanza

Pancreatic Cancer

In January 2010, Barbara Lanza, who had just turned 52, was admitted to the emergency room four times during a trip to Florida. When she returned home, Barabara met with her doctor, where more tests were ordered; the tests revealed a mass on the head of her pancreas. Barbara's doctor referred her to Fox Chase Cancer Center, where she was diagnosed with a rare form of pancreatic cancer. She underwent chemotherapy and radiation before she was ready for a complex surgery, followed by one last procedure: a stent put into her collapsed superior mesenteric vein. Barbara has recovered well and is so pleased she received treatment at Fox Chase. “I had the best team–Dr. Denlinger, Dr. Karachristos, and Dr. Hayes did everything they could to save me. And Dr. Hoffman? What can I say? He’s not head of pancreatic surgery for nothing! He’s the best there is,” she said.

Carol Hobson

Liver, Gall Bladder & Bile Duct Cancer

Carol Hobson

Liver, Gall Bladder & Bile Duct Cancer

After a doctor suspected she had bile duct cancer, Carol Hobson sought the help of specialists at Fox Chase Cancer Center, where a diagnosis of bile duct cancer was finally confirmed after extensive testing. In 2011, she underwent a bile duct resection, followed by chemotherapy and radiation therapy. The treatment was successul, and today Carol has extensive CAT scans and blood work done every three months to check for a possible recurrence. "I can tell you that if you decide to go to Fox Chase, you will get the most knowledgeable people taking care of you. Just as important, you will become part of the Fox Chase family and will be treated like a family member," she said. "That is one of the most outstanding features of Fox Chase Cancer Center."

Research Profile

Research Program

Research Interests

Gastrointestinal cancers; Cancer Survivorship; Drug Development


Selected Publications

He AR, Cohen RB, Denlinger CS, Sama A, Birnbaum A, Hwang J, Sato T, Lewis N, Mynderse M, Niland M, Giles J, Wallin J, Moser B, Zhang W, Walgren R, Plimack ER. First-in-Human Phase I Study of Merestinib, an Oral Multikinase Inhibitor, in Patients with Advanced Cancer. The oncologist, 2019.

 Upshaw JN, O'Neill A, Carver JR, Dimond EP, Denlinger CS, Kircher SM, Wagner LI, Ky B, Brell JM. Fluoropyrimidine Cardiotoxicity: Time for a Contemporaneous Appraisal. Clinical Colorectal Cancer, 18(1):44-51, 2019. PubMed

Denlinger CS, Blanchard R, Xu L, Bernaards C, Litwin S, Spittle C, Berg DJ, McLaughlin S, Redlinger M, Dorr A, Hambleton J, Holden S, Kearns A, Kenkare-Mitra S, Lum B, Meropol NJ, O’Dwyer PJ.  Pharmacokinetic and pharmacogenetic analysis of irinotecan plus bevacizumab in patients with advanced solid tumors.  Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmocology, Dec;65(1):97-105, 2009. Epub 2009 May 5. PMID: 2746259, NIHMS 110194. PubMed

Denlinger CS, Barsevick AM.  The challenges of colorectal cancer survivorship.  Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, 7(8):  883-894, 2009.  PMID: 19755048. PubMed

Denlinger CS, Engstrom PF. Colorectal cancer survivorship: movement matters. Cancer Prevention Research, 4(4):502-11, Apr, 2011.  Epub April 3, 2011.  PMID: 21464030. PubMed

Dotan E, Browner I, Hurria A, Denlinger C. Challenges in the Management of Older Patients With Colon Cancer. Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network,  10(2): p. 213-224, 2012. PMID:  22308516. PubMed

Ligibel JA and Denlinger CS.  New NCCN Guidelines(R) for survivorship care.  Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, 11(5 Suppl):  640-644, 2013. PubMed

Denlinger CS, Meropol NJ, Li T, Lewis NL, Engstrom PF, Weiner LM, Cheng JD, Alpaugh RK, Cooper H, Wright JJ, Cohen SJ.  A phase II trial of bortezomib in patients with advanced biliary tract cancers.  Clinical Colorectal Cancer 13(2):  81-86, 2014  .Epub ahead of print Jan 4 2014.  PMID 24512954. PubMed

Denlinger CS and Ligibel J.  A Work In Progress:  Developing the new NCCN Survivorship Guidelines.  Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, 12(1):  1-4, 2014.  PMID:  24453287. PubMed

Dotan E, Devarajan K, D’Silva AJ, Beck A, Kloth DD, Cohen SJ, Denlinger C.  Patterns of use and tolerance of anti-epidermal growth factor receptor antibodies in older adults with metastatic colorectal cancer.  Clinical Colorectal Cancer 2014 Sept; 13(3):  192-198. Epub ahead of print Jun 26 2014.  PMID:  25074246. PubMed

Morgan MA, Denlinger CS.  Survivorship: tools for transitioning patients with cancer. Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network. 2014 Dec;12(12):1681-1687.  PMID:25505209.  PubMed

Shah M and Denlinger CS.  Optimal post-treatment surveillance in cancer survivors:  is more really better?  Oncology 2015 29(4):  230-240. PMID: 25952485. PubMed

Vijayvergia N and Denlinger CS. Lifestyle factors in Cancer Survivorship: Where we are and where we are headed.  Journal of Personalized Medicine. 2015 5(3): 243-263. PubMed

Vijayvergia N, Shah PC, Denlinger CS.  Survivorship in non-small cell lung cancer:  challenges faced and steps forward.  Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.  2015 Sep;13(9):1151-61. PMID: 26358799. PubMed

Additional Publications




Our Patient Satisfaction Rating is an average of all responses to care provider related questions from our nationally-recognized Press Ganey Patient Satisfaction Survey. Learn more.


4.9 / 5.0


  • 4.9
  • 4.9
  • 4.9
  • 5.0
  • 4.9


  • 5.0
    June 24, 2020
    Exceptional service.
  • 5.0
    May 22, 2020
    dr denlinger is warm and welcoming. she is a good listener and very positive and clear about care options.
  • 5.0
    April 19, 2020
    My experience with Crystal and all of the staff is always pleasant. My visit was a tele visit this time. I look forward to being able to receive my mamo and have a proper exam.
  • 5.0
    April 16, 2020
    [...] I enjoyed the teleconference, and Dr. Dellinger really rocks! She is excellent!
  • 5.0
    February 04, 2020
    terrific doctor and staff. excellent service provided
  • 5.0
    January 27, 2020
    Fox Chase & Dr. Denlinger M.D. are the people to handle my cancer.
  • 5.0
    January 26, 2020
    Perfect service perfect care.
  • 5.0
    January 23, 2020
    everyone there was great dr.Denlinger is amazing
  • 4.5
    December 26, 2019
    Dr. Denlinger is very informative & to the point, which is how I want information.
  • 5.0
    December 10, 2019
    Excellent service.
  • 5.0
    December 05, 2019
    I am very fortunate to have Dr. Denlinger as my provider. She is the best.
  • 5.0
    November 02, 2019
    my experience was positive.
  • 5.0
    October 25, 2019
    love dr Denlinger and fox chase staff
  • 5.0
    October 02, 2019
    [...] Dr Denlinger is very professional and gives u her undivided attention [...].
  • 5.0
    September 27, 2019
    Dr. Denlinger is the best! I have been with her since 2007.
  • 5.0
    August 21, 2019
    All good, above & beyond.
  • 5.0
    July 31, 2019
    Dr. Denlinger is a thorough, highly competent and compassionate doctor.
  • 5.0
    July 18, 2019
  • 5.0
    June 05, 2019
    I love my Dr. Denlinger, she listen and always included me in the treatment plan. [...]
  • 5.0
    May 21, 2019
    Dr. Denlinger helped save my life 6 years ago when I had [...] cancer. I am 6 years cancer free. Shhe is an excellent doctor.

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