David S. Weinberg, MD, MSc
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Fox Chase Cancer Center
333 Cottman Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19111
Chief, Gastroenterology Section
Molecular Epidemiology of Gastrointestinal Disease; Risk Assessment
- America’s Top Doctors® 2015-2017
- Philadelphia Magazine Top Docs, 2009-2017
I joined the staff at Fox Chase Cancer Center in 2001 as director of gastroenterology. While my gastroenterology colleagues and I see many patients with cancers of all types, we are very happy to care for the gastrointestinal needs of patients without cancer as well.
I have a special interest in cancer prevention, especially for patients who are at average risk for gastrointestinal cancers. The current methods of gastrointestinal cancer prevention tools, like colonoscopy, are very effective. However, it is very likely that the next generation of screening techniques will be substantially better. Finding new ways to increase participation in screening programs and to use molecular or genetic markers to provide more accurate estimates of risk are particular interests of mine. Hopefully, finding such markers will allow for better targeting of screening and other risk reduction strategies now and in the future.
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. Periodic screening can reduce the incidence and mortality from this disease. Unfortunately, screening is underutilized. Less than 50% of the U.S. population has been appropriately screened according to standard guidelines. The poor acceptance rate is particularly disappointing since no other common human malignancy represents such an appropriate target for cancer prevention. Effective strategies to increase screening rates, targeted towards patients or providers, have proven elusive. The major goals of our research program are the development of novel CRC risk stratification tools in average risk populations to facilitate more appropriate use of screening tests as well as investigating new methods to increase screening utilization. Several ongoing, large multi-center trials are underway that investigate new clinical platforms for CRC screening, the impact of gene-environment interaction on CRC risk stratification and the utility of patient specific information tailoring to increase CRC screening use.
Chair, Department of Medicine
David S. Weinberg, MD, MSc, has served as the Chair of the Department of Medicine and the Director of Gastroenterology since his appointment in 2008.
Dr. Weinberg’s research centers on the prevention and control of gastrointestinal malignancies with a particular interest in biomarkers, chemoprevention, the cost effectiveness of clinical care and in novel methods to promote cancer screening utilization. He currently holds research support from the National Institutes of Health, the pharmaceutical industry, and philanthropic organizations. He is the author of more than 150 peer reviewed manuscripts and sits on the editorial boards of several biomedical journals including Gastroenterology.
In addition to research, Dr Weinberg continues an active clinical practice in Gastroenterology, winning multiple “top doctor” awards. In addition, he serves as the Chief Medical Officer of the Temple University Health System’s Office of International Health. Beyond activities at Fox Chase he has been appointed to leadership roles on national committees for a range of groups including the American Board of Internal Medicine, the National Cancer Institute, the American College of Physicians (ACP) and the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA).
Dr. Weinberg received his undergraduate degree magna cum laude from Yale University and his MD from Cornell University Medical College, where he earned the Research Thesis Award and was a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha honorary society. He served his internship and residency in internal medicine at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston and then his Gastroenterology fellowship training at the University of Pennsylvania. Concurrently, he was a National Research Service Award fellow in cancer epidemiology earning a masters’ degree in epidemiology from the University of Pennsylvania.
- Fellow, Gastroenterology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
- Fellow, Clinical Epidemiology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
- Resident, Internal Medicine, Beth Israel Hospital, Boston, MA
- MSc, Cancer Epidemiology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
- MD, Cornell University Medical College, New York, NY
- BA, Yale University, New Haven, CT
- Gastroenterology, American Board of Internal Medicine
- National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN)
- Genetic: Colorectal/Colorectal Cancer Screening Panel
- American Association for Cancer Research
- American College of Gastroenterology
- American Gastroenterological Association, Fellow
- National Institutes of Health
Honors & Awards
- America’s Top Doctors® 2015-2017
- Philadelphia Magazine Top Docs, 2009-2017
Alison Kovalchik believes that her positive mindset, staying active, her fantastic friends, supportive family and her faith all played a positive role in her life.
“In 2016, I turned 60 years old but I tend to believe I am still in my thirties,” Alison shares. “I have two incredible and supportive children. My son is 29 years old and works in the field of anthropology and archaeology, and is an avid mountain biker. My daughter is 27 years old. She is a voice-over actor and Pilates instructor and artist.”
Jim Slade wants the world to understand the importance of cancer screenings, especially for prostate and colon cancers. The underlying reason for his concern is that both screenings may have saved his life.
When he was in his early sixties, Jim had his first PSA (prostate-specific antigen) blood test, which revealed slightly elevated levels. Although his levels were not alarming for prostate cancer, Jim was asked to return eight months later to be re-tested. "My PSA level climbed from 8 to 12 - that's a 50 percent increase in under a year," Jim recalled.
In 2013, following a colonoscopy, Albert Anderson was told that polyps were discovered - one of which was larger than normal and this drew concern. He told his doctor that he noticed some blood in his stool and was informed by the gastroenterologist that the polyps were removed except for the one that raised the concern. After his third colonoscopy, Albert’s doctor explained an increased risk of damaging the colon as they tried to pare down the polyp. His doctor recommended a follow-up test six months later.
- Gastrointestinal cancer prevention and control
- Cancer chemoprevention
- Cost and clinical effectiveness studies
Siedler MR, Allen JI, Falck-Ytter YT, Weinberg DS. AGA Clinical Practice Guidelines: Robust, Evidence-Based Tools for Guiding Clinical Care Decisions. Gastroenterology. 2015 Aug;149(2):493-5 PubMed
Moayyedi P, Weinberg DS, Schünemann H, Chak A. Management of pancreatic cysts in an evidence-based world. Gastroenterology. 2015 Apr;148(4):692-5 PubMed
Rex DK, Schoenfeld PS, Cohen J, Pike IM, Adler DG, Fennerty MB, Lieb JG, Park WG, Rizk MK, Sawhney MS, Shaheen NJ, Wani S, Weinberg DS. Quality Indicators for Colonoscopy. Am J Gastroenterol. 2015 Jan;110(1):72-90 PubMed
Weinberg DS, Myers RE, Keenan E, Ziring B, Sifri R, Ruth K , Ross E and Manne S: Gene Environment Risk Assessment and Colorectal Cancer Screening in an Average Risk Population: A Randomized, Controlled Trial. Annals of Internal Medicine 2014; 161(8):537-45 PubMed
Horwitz E and Weinberg DS: Medicare Physician Payment Data: Is this Transparency? Ann Intern Med. 2014;161:291-292 PubMed
Weinberg DS and Schoen RE: New Advances in Colorectal Cancer Screening. Ann Intern Med. 2014;160(9):ITC5-1
Weinberg DS, Keenan E, Ruth K, Devarajan K, Rodoletz M, Bieber EJ. A randomized trial comparing a web-based versus print-based intervention to increase CRC screening. JAMA Intern Med. 2013;173:122-9.
Shaheen N, Denberg T, Chou R, Qaseem A, Shekelle P, Weinberg DS: Overuse of upper gastrointestinal endoscopy in acid reflux disease. Ann Intern Med. 2012;157:808-816