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Elizabeth Plimack, MD, MS

Elizabeth Plimack MD, MS Professor, Department of Hematology/Oncology

Clinical Locations

Primary Location

Fox Chase Cancer Center
333 Cottman Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19111


Deputy Director, Fox Chase Cancer Center

Professor, Department of Hematology/Oncology

Director, Genitourinary Clinical Research

NCCN, Bladder/Penile Cancers Panel Member

NCCN, Kidney Cancer Panel Member

Research Program

Key Awards

Philadelphia Magazine Top Docs 2021
Medical Oncology

Treatment Philosophy

With a diagnosis of cancer comes uncertainty and fear for many patients. As a medical oncologist, my first job is to help each patient understand his or her diagnosis. With that understanding, together we can design the best plan of action. At Fox Chase, each patient has the benefit of an interdisciplinary team working together to ensure the highest quality care. This interdisciplinary approach is crucial in determining and implementing the best treatment plan.

I specialize in the treatment of kidney, bladder, prostate and testicular cancer, and my clinical practice is focused on these diseases. By concentrating exclusively on genitourinary malignancies I am able to offer expert knowledge as well as access to both standard treatments and emerging therapies in the form of clinical trials. The pace of scientific discovery has accelerated in recent decades, and fortunately we have seen these discoveries translate into meaningful improvements in cancer treatments.

As part of the genitourinary group here at Fox Chase, I am proud to be a part of a team of distinguished researchers who have pioneered many of these new treatments. My particular research efforts focus on the development of new therapies for bladder and kidney cancer.

Education and Training

Educational Background

  • Chief Fellow, Medical Oncology, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
  • Intern and Resident, Internal Medicine, New York University Medical Center / Bellevue Hospital, NY
  • MS, Patient-Based Biologic Research, University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, 2008
  • MD with Honors in Pathology, New York University School of Medicine, 2002


  • National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN)
    • Bladder/Penile Cancers Panel
    • Kidney/Testicular Cancers Panel
    • Prostate Cancer Panel
  • American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO)
    • 2015-2018 — ASCO Scientific Committee, Genitourinary (non-prostate)
    • 2016-2017 — Track Chair, ASCO Scientific Committee, Genitourinary (non-prostate)
    • 2020-2024 — Elected Member, ASCO Board of Directors
  • Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network (BCAN)
    • 2013-2019 — BCAN Think Tank Steering Committee
    • 2016-2017 — Co-Chair, 2017 BCAN Think Tank
    • 2017-2018 — Chair, 2018 BCAN Think Tank
    • 2014 — Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network Young Investigator Award Study Section
    • 2015-2018 — Chair, Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network Young Investigator Award Study Section
    • 2018-Present — Bladder Cancer Research Network (BCRN) Management Committee
    • 2020-2023 — Chair, BCAN Scientific Advisory Board
  • Department of Defense (DOD) Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) Study Section
    • 2015, 2016, 2017 — Reviewer, Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program (PRCRP), Kidney Cancer
    • 2020 — Chair, Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program (PRCRP), Kidney Cancer
    • 2021 — Programmatic Panel Member. Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs: Kidney Cancer

Honors & Awards

  • Philadelphia Magazine Top Doctors, 2017-2022
  • Best Doctors in America® , 2019-2020, Medical Oncology and Hematology
  • America's Top Doctors®2017
  • Leadership Forum Excellence Award, Fox Chase Cancer Center, 2012
  • Humanitas Award, Division of Cancer Medicine Hematology/Oncology Fellowship, MD Anderson Cancer Center, 2008
  • Award for Achievement in Clinical Investigation, Division of Cancer Medicine, MD Anderson Cancer Center, 2008
  • Research Forum, MD Anderson Cancer Center, 2008
  • Honorable Mention, First Annual Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Program, 2008
  • ASCO Foundation Merit Award, ASCO Genitourinary Cancers Symposium, 2008
Patient Stories

Donna McAllister

Bladder Cancer

Donna McAllister

Bladder Cancer

I was treated with compassion, given hope, and kept informed of every facet of my treatment.

Al De Carlo

Kidney Cancer

Al De Carlo

Kidney Cancer

Now that I’m 74 and retired, I spend most of my time outside or in the garage. Since my service in the Navy, where I worked as a ship fitter, taking care of the plumbing and mechanical issues, I’ve always been fascinated with machines and how they work. So for me, as crazy as it seems to my wife, working outside, tinkering with machines, and splitting wood, isn’t hard work – it’s my playtime.

Mu Sang

Kidney Cancer

Mu Sang

Kidney Cancer

My doctor in China told me there was nothing to be done, and said I had only six months to live. I could not accept this. I wasn’t ready to give up.

Ed Horowitz

Prostate Cancer

Ed Horowitz

Prostate Cancer

When Ed Horowitz was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2008, he had to make a decision whether to undergo radiation or surgery. After receiving one opinion from a surgeon at a large Philadelphia hospital, he decided to seek a second opinion from Dr. Eric Horwitz, chair of radiation oncology at Fox Chase Cancer Center. Ed liked Dr. Horowitz's warm demeanor and sense of humor and decided to be treated with IMRT (intensity modulated radiation therapy) combined with hormone injections, followed by radiation and hormone therapy. The treatment was successful. A few years later, his cancer returned, isolated to his shoulder this time. Ed started another course of chemotherapy in March 2016. "My cancer has not grown and has not spread since I completed chemotherapy," he said. "I always recommend Fox Chase to anyone considering treatment for prostate cancer. I consider myself fortunate to have gone there for treatment."

Kevin Galligan

Kidney Cancer

Kevin Galligan

Kidney Cancer

Kevin Galligan had a respiratory infection and cough in 2012, when his doctor scheduled an X-ray which detected an issue with his right lung. Kevin was beyond frustrated when several tests he underwent by a pulmonologist were found to be inconclusive. However, after being referred to a thoracic surgeon, he was diagnosed with stage 4 renal cancer. Kevin had his right kidney and a rib removed before finding out the cancer had spread to his lung. He was then referred to Fox Chase Cancer Center, where he enrolled in a clinical trial. As a result, his tumors have continued to shrink. "Being referred to Dr. Plimack at Fox Chase was the best thing that could have happened to me," he said. "At Fox Chase, I received state-of-the-art treatment, and I have been able to easily manage the side effects of the clinical trial drugs. I remain very active and am able to work every day at an international logistics and transportation company, where I am a vice president."


Research Profile

Research Program

Research Interests

  • Biomarkers predictive of response to neoadjuvant cisplatin based chemotherapy in bladder cancer
  • Refining neoadjuvant chemotherapy regimens for bladder cancer
  • Developmental Therapeutics – early stage clinical trials of novel agents
  • Immunotherapy in GU Malignancies

Selected Publications

Bilusic M., Girardi D., Zhou Y., Jung K., Pei J., Slifker M., Chen Q., Meerzaman D., Alpaugh K., Young D., Flieder D., Gray P., Plimack E., Molecular profiling of exceptional responders to cancer therapy. Oncologist. 26(3): 186-195, 2021. PMC7930427. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/33210795.

Powles T., Plimack E.R., Soulières D., Waddell T., Stus V., Gafanov R., Nosov D., Pouliot F., Melichar B., Vynnychenko I., Azevedo S.J., Borchiellini D., McDermott R.S., Bedke J., Tamada S., Yin L., Chen M., Molife L.R., Atkins M.B.,Rini B.I., Pembrolizumab plus axitinib versus sunitinib monotherapy as first-line treatment of advanced renal cell carcinoma (keynote-426): Extended follow-up from a randomised, open-label, phase 3 trial. Lancet Oncol. 21(12): 1563-1573, 2020. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/33284113.

Vuky J., Balar A.V., Castellano D., O'Donnell P.H., Grivas P., Bellmunt J., Powles T., Bajorin D., Hahn N.M., Savage M.J., Fang X., Godwin J.L., Frenkl T.L., Homet Moreno B., de Wit R., Plimack E.R., Long-term outcomes in keynote-052: Phase ii study investigating first-line pembrolizumab in cisplatin-ineligible patients with locally advanced or metastatic urothelial cancer. J Clin Oncol. 38(23): 2658-2666, 2020. PMC5568632. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32552471

Bamias A, Tzannis K, Bamia C, Harshman LC, Crabb S, Plimack ER, Pal S, De Giorgi U, Ladoire S, Theodore C, Agarwal N, Yu EY, Niegisch G, Sternberg CN, Srinivas S, Vaishampayan U, Necchi A, Liontos M, Rosenberg JE, Powles T, Bellmunt J, Galsky MD. The Impact of Cisplatin- or Non-Cisplatin-Containing Chemotherapy on Long-Term and Conditional Survival of Patients with Advanced Urinary Tract Cancer. The oncologist, 2019.

Changa NM, Xie WL, Bilen MA, Dzimitrowicz H, Burkart J, Geynisman DM, Balakrishnan A, Bowman IA, Jain R, Stadler W, Zakharia Y, Narayan V, Beuselinck B, McKay RR, Tripathi A, Pachynski R, Hahn AW, Hsu J, Shah SA, Lam ET, Rose TL, Mega AE, Vogelzang N, Harrison MR, Mortazavi A, Plimack ER, Vaishampayan U, Hammers H, George S, Haas N, Agarwal N, Pal SK, Srinivas S, Carneiro BA, Heng DYC, Bosse D, Choueiri TK, Harshman LC. Cabozantinib in advanced non-clear-cell renal cell carcinoma: a multicentre, retrospective, cohort study. Lancet Oncology, 20(4):581-90, 2019.

Rouvinov K, Plimack ER, Zibelman M, Ghatalia P, Geynisman DM. Update on perioperative systemic therapy for urothelial carcinoma. Clinical advances in hematology & oncology : H&O, 17(3):176-83, 2019.

Voss MH, Bhatt RS, Vogelzang NJ, Fishman M, Alter RS, Rini BI, Beck JT, Joshi M, Hauke R, Atkins MB, Burgess E, Logan TF, Shaffer D, Parikh R, Moazzam N, Zhang X, Glasser C, Sherman ML, Plimack ER. A phase 2, randomized trial evaluating the combination of dalantercept plus axitinib in patients with advanced clear cell renal cell carcinoma. Cancer, 2019.

Amin A, Plimack ER, Ernstoff MS, Lewis LD, Bauer TM, McDermott DF, Carducci M, Kollmannsberger C, Rini BI, Heng DYC, Knox J, Voss MH, Spratlin J, Berghorn E, Yang L, Hammers HJ. Correction to: Safety and efficacy of nivolumab in combination with sunitinib or pazopanib in advanced or metastatic renal cell carcinoma: the CheckMate 016 study. Journal for immunotherapy of cancer, 7(1):73, 2019. PMC6416882

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.

Martinez Chanza N, Xie W, Asim Bilen M, Dzimitrowicz H, Burkart J, Geynisman DM, Balakrishnan A, Bowman IA, Jain R, Stadler W, Zakharia Y, Narayan V, Beuselinck B, McKay RR, Tripathi A, Pachynski R, Hahn AW, Hsu J, Shah SA, Lam ET, Rose TL, Mega AE, Vogelzang N, Harrison MR, Mortazavi A, Plimack ER, Vaishampayan U, Hammers H, George S, Haas N, Agarwal N, Pal SK, Srinivas S, Carneiro BA, Heng DYC, Bosse D, Choueiri TK, Harshman LC. Cabozantinib in advanced non-clear-cell renal cell carcinoma: a multicentre, retrospective, cohort study. The Lancet Oncology, 2019... Expand

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.


5.0 / 5.0


  • 5.0
  • 5.0
  • 5.0
  • 5.0
  • 5.0


  • 5.0
    June 18, 2022
    Fox Chase is the best!
  • No Star Ratings Available June 15, 2022
  • 5.0
    June 08, 2022
    I am very, very happy with my doctor and nurses, and all of the wonderful care that I have received at Fox Chase. I have every confidence in them.
  • 5.0
    June 03, 2022
    All good, thank you.
  • 5.0
    May 14, 2022
    Professional Efficient
  • 5.0
    April 02, 2022
    Everyone at Fox Chase was super. Very caring.
  • 5.0
    March 22, 2022
    Dr. Plimack is spectacular.
  • No Star Ratings Available March 14, 2022
    Again, Fox Chase .. Best hospital in the world
  • No Star Ratings Available February 28, 2022
    Exceptional listener and always answers my questions.
  • 5.0
    February 21, 2022
    Everyone at Fox Chase makes me feel like a valued human being and sincerely concerned with treatment.
  • 5.0
    January 04, 2022
    My experience with Dr. Plimack could not be better. She is the reason my cancer is under control.
  • 5.0
    November 16, 2021
    I am impressed with the attention and care that I am receiving.
  • 5.0
    November 13, 2021
    Dr. Plimack is the reason I am still alive. I am very thankful for her treatment & care towards me.
  • 5.0
    October 08, 2021
    Dr. Plum Mack as consistently shown nothing but care and concern for my well being and treatment since she took over for [...] when he retired. I can not conceive of receiving better care. This visit was my 10 year clean anniversary and my last visit as Dr. Plimmack discharged me. She reassured me that, if at any time, I felt the need to contact her she would make herself available. I recommend her highly.
  • No Star Ratings Available September 30, 2021
    Very kind and patient
  • 5.0
    September 20, 2021
    You could never find a doctor better than Dr. Plimack.
  • 5.0
    September 15, 2021
    I saw Dr. Plimack for a second opinion. The visit with her was excellent. She was very professional, upbeat and clearly explained my treatment options, while addressing all my concerns.
  • 5.0
    August 28, 2021
    Awesome as always
  • No Star Ratings Available July 30, 2021
    Good experience
  • 5.0
    July 27, 2021
    We love Dr. Plimack!!

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