Jeffrey M. Farma, MD, FACS

Jeffrey M. Farma, MD, FACS

Clinical Locations

Primary Location

Fox Chase Cancer Center
333 Cottman Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19111


Co-Director, Melanoma and Skin Cancer Program

Associate Professor, Department of Surgical Oncology 

Director, Surgical Oncology Fellowship Training Program  

TRDG Member, Colorectal and SI CancerMelanoma and Skin CancerSarcoma and GIST Cancer

NCCN, Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer Panel Member

Treatment Focus

Colorectal cancer, melanoma, sarcoma, minimally invasive and robotic surgery, isolated limb infusion for in-transit melanoma and extremity sarcomas.

Key Awards

Humanitarian Award, Melanoma Research Foundation, 2016

Treatment Philosophy

It is an honor to be part of the staff of the Fox Chase Cancer Center. My initial exposure occurred during a rotation as a Temple University Medical School student at Fox Chase that led me down the path of Surgical Oncology. As a native Philadelphian, I am privileged to work at such an esteemed institution. I was enthralled then by the dedicated care of the staff in dealing with all aspects of treating patients diagnosed with cancer, and I hope to continue this throughout my career at Fox Chase.

I trained in general surgery at Temple University Hospital. During my fellowship at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, I learned from experts in the field of surgical oncology about clinical trial design, experimental therapeutics and the importance of bench-to-bedside research to progress the fight against cancer. I encountered patients with very complex problems, and the greatest lesson I learned was there are always treatment options, utilizing all different types of techniques including radiation, chemotherapy and surgery.

My clinical surgical oncology fellowship at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida has provided me with an extensive understanding of the multidisciplinary approach to treating patients with cancer. One of the greatest benefits of a cancer center like Fox Chase is the close knit group of expert physicians from all specialties that are constantly interacting and providing the highest level of care using the most innovative strategies to treat all aspects of cancer. I have developed a particularly strong interest in the surgical and multimodal treatment of patients with Melanoma, Sarcoma and Colorectal cancers, using traditional surgery, regional therapies, and minimally invasive techniques. I have the operative expertise to perform many of these complex procedures using laparoscopic, robotic, and TAMIS (transaanal minimally invasive surgery) techniques and have had advanced training in using newest techniques.  I am an expert in the treatment of colorectal cancer including; sphincter sparing and nerve sparing resections, and treating patients with hereditary colorectal cancer syndromes.  

For melanoma and sarcoma that has regional spread in the extremities I offer a minimally invasive technique call Isolated Limb Infusion, and perform minimally invasive inguinal lymph node dissections.

Most importantly, I hold my patients as my number one priority. I will spend as much time as necessary educating, answering questions and providing guidance for each individual patient to help them throughout each stage of treatment. I believe in candid discussions, where both the patients and families goals and expectations are openly communicated. We will work together as a team to formulate a treatment plan. My personal goal is to treat and care for every patient with the same compassion and honesty as if they were a friend or family m ember.

Follow on Twitter: @jeffreyfarma

Education, Training & Credentials

Educational Background

  • Fellow, Surgical Oncology, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL, 2009
  • Administrative Chief Resident, Department of Surgery, Temple University Hospital, Philadelphia, PA, 2007
  • Chief Resident, Lewis Katz School of Medicine, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, 2006
  • Fellow, Surgical Oncology, Surgery Branch, National Cancer Institute, NIH, Bethesda, MD, 2005
  • Resident, Lewis Katz School of Medicine, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, 2003
  • MD, Lewis Katz School of Medicine, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, 2000


  • American Board of Surgery


  • National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN)
    • Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer Panel
  • American College of Surgeons
  • American College of Surgeons Oncology Group (ACOSOG)
  • American Radium Society
  • American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons
  • Association of Academic Surgery- Candidate Member
  • Connective Tissue Oncology Society (CTOS)
  • Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group
  • Metropolitan Philadelphia American College of Surgeons
  • North American Neuroendocrine Tumor Society
  • Philadelphia Academy of Surgery
  • Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons
  • Society of Surgical Oncology
  • Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract
  • Society of University Surgeon
  • Surgical Biology Club III

Honors & Awards

  • Humanitarian Award, Melanoma Research Foundation, 2016
  • Castle Connelly national list of Top Doctors®, Regional Top Doctor 2014-17
  • 2015 American College of Surgeons Traveling Fellowship to Germany, 2014
  • Alpha Omega Alpha, National Medical Honor Society, Epsilon Chapter- Honorary Member, 2014
  • H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center 2008 Fellow’ Education Research Symposium, Best Clinical Poster Presentation, 2008
  • Temple University Surgery Resident Research Symposium Award, 2007
  • H. Taylor Caswell Award, Department of Surgery Teaching Award  for outstanding Chief Surgical Resident, 2007
  • ASCO Foundation Merit Award, 2005




Patient Stories

Alyssia O’Malley


Alyssia O’Malley


Alyssia O’Malley was working out and training for her physical training certificate when she noticed a tiny bump in the middle of her abdomen. “I thought it was a hernia from pushing myself too hard,” said Alyssia.

After numerous tests, Alyssia’s primary care doctor performed a biopsy on the mass in her abdomen. The biopsy results led to a PET scan that revealed cancerous nodules on her diaphragm in June 2014. At age 44, Alyssia was diagnosed with stage 4 retroperitoneal sarcoma.

Mary Anne Barlow

Colorectal Cancer

Mary Anne Barlow

Colorectal Cancer

Mary Anne Barlow says she has a strong faith and every day does her best to make this world a better place. She has worked as a parole officer, a drug and alcohol counselor and currently runs a non-profit to help at risk pregnant women. “I believe that the Lord leads me to help others,” says Mary Anne.

Mary Anne is also a devoted wife, mother and grandmother. In 2011, Mary Anne was diagnosed with rectal cancer. She believes her faith has kept her on a positive path and believes that positive thinking has played a strong role in her improving health.

William Purner


William Purner


William Purner was just 25 in September 2009 when he noticed a large half-dollar size mole on his back. “I couldn’t ever recall it being there before,” he says. “I wasn't a sun bather or tanner; I'm fair skinned. I burn in the sun,” he adds. “I generally took precautions, so when I noticed this mole, I knew I needed to see my doctor.”

Joe Weiss


Joe Weiss


Like most beach lovers of a certain age, Joe Weiss didn’t worry about too much exposure to the sun when he was spending childhood summers at the Jersey shore.

Janet Meyer

Colorectal Cancer

Janet Meyer

Colorectal Cancer

Early symptoms of cancer are often misinterpreted as digestive issues, intolerance of foods, like dairy or gluten, or stress. As a working mother, Janet Meyer looks back and recognizes there were small signs along the way: not feeling quite right, fatigue and constipation, but it was not until intense stomach pain one night accompanied by other symptoms that led her see a doctor. “The symptoms were never severe until that one night in August 2009,” Janet recalls.

Early symptoms of cancer are often misinterpreted as digestive issues, intolerance of foods, like dairy or gluten, or stress. As a working mother, Janet Meyer looks back and recognizes there were small signs along the way: not feeling quite right, fatigue and constipation, but it was not until intense stomach pain one night accompanied by other symptoms that led her see a doctor. “The symptoms were never severe until that one night in August 2009,” Janet recalls.

Janet was referred to her local hospital for a CT scan. She was told it was possibly colitis and was referred to a gastroenterologist who performed a colonoscopy. “I told him the pain had been increasing in the interim,” says Janet, who was 48.  Results of the test revealed a cancerous tumor, which took both Janet and her doctor by surprise. “I asked the doctor how sure he was that it was cancer and he responded 99 percent sure. It was a surreal experience.” Janet was diagnosed with Stage III-B colon cancer.

“I was referred by the GI doctor to a local surgeon,” recalls Janet, who immediately recognized the need to go to a cancer specialist. “While he answered all of my questions and appeared to be more than competent to perform the surgery, I just had this nagging feeling that I wanted to go someplace where ‘cancer’ was their main focus. I always believed that for a substantial health issue I would travel to Philadelphia and go to a hospital where they have more knowledge with that diagnosis. A few co-workers had good experiences with Fox Chase Cancer Center, so I went on the Internet and researched Philadelphia hospitals and decided on Fox Chase.”

“I called Fox Chase and was given the name of Jeffrey Farma, MD," add Janet, who was impressed with the ease of access at Fox Chase. "I was more than satisfied with his credentials and resume,” she adds.

"Dr. Farma made me feel comfortable."

“During my first appointment, I felt further assured that Dr. Farma was the right doctor for me.  He made me feel comfortable in a very uncomfortable and scary situation,” Janet explains. “I liked that he was easy to talk to and had a positive attitude.”

Dr. Farma performed a laparoscopic right hemicolectomy to remove the right colon. After recovery, Janet’s medical oncologist (name?) started her on a six month course of chemotherapy (where?)
“Since my surgery, I have had two colonoscopies, both with clean results. My next one is scheduled for approximately September, 2016,” Janet said.

Janet and her husband, Dave, were married in 1986 and have two beautiful daughters, Kerry and Shannon, who turned 24 and 21 in 2014, respectively. They also have a Chesapeake Bay retriever named Baylee.  “I especially enjoy the beach, riding bikes and reading.  I also enjoy spending time with family and friends,” she shares.

She has been a legal secretary for more than 30 years. “Upon retirement in a few years, I hope to fill my time volunteering for a nearby organization or hospital,” says Janet, who reports feeling fantastic since treatment.

 "Dr. Farma is an extremely talented surgeon and I am forever grateful to him."

"In 2014, I had my five-year CT scan and follow-up visit with Dr. Farma,” explains Janet. “Dr. Farma actually used the words ‘cured’ and ‘cancer-free.’  It's a wonderful feeling to be this far out from my initial diagnosis.  I only wish more cancer patients were able to experience such a positive result. Dr. Farma is an extremely talented surgeon and I am forever grateful to him.”

“Dr. Farma did a wonderful job with my laparoscopic surgery and complete removal of the tumor,” Janet continued. You can’t even tell now that I ever even had surgery.  I also have nothing but praise for the nursing staff and every other staff member I came across during my stay at Fox Chase.  As I recently told Dr. Farma, I am a firm believer that you have to be a ‘special’ person to work with cancer patients – the care and compassion they exhibit is extraordinary.”

Thinking back to her experience, she is certain that Fox Chase was the right choice. “I can honestly say that as frightening as having cancer may be, Fox Chase was the right place for me.  Although it was very emotional the first day I stepped foot in Fox Chase and realized that every patient is a cancer patient (whereas at other hospitals it is a mix of patients), it was also very reassuring.  Fox Chase is a cancer hospital – exactly where I needed to be.”

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Research Profile

Research Interests

  • Melanoma: Molecular profiling, outcomes research, clinical trials, immunotherapy
  • Colorectal: Molecular and imaging profiling for rectal cancer, outcomes research, clinical trials, quality of life
  • Sarcoma



Selected Publications

Jakub JW, Terando AM, Sarnaik A, Ariyan CE, Faries MB, Zani S Jr, Neuman HB, Wasif N, Farma JM, Averbrook BJ, Bilimoria KY, Jake Allred JB, Suman VJ, Grotz TE, Zendejas B, Wayne JD, Tyler DS. Training High-Volume Melanoma Surgeons to Perform a Novel Minimally Invasive Inguinal Lymphadenectomy: Report of a Prospective Multi-Institutional Trial. Journal of the American College of Surgeons. November 2015.

Schatz TP, Nassif MO, Farma JM. Extensive portal venous gas: Unlikely etiology and outcome. Int J Surg Case Rep. December 2014.

Yeo H, Niland J, Milne D, ter Veer A, Bekail-Saab T, Farma JM,  Lai L,  Skibber JM,  Small W Jr,  Wilkinson N, Schrag D, Weiser MR, Incidence of minimally invasive colorectal cancer surgery at national comprehensive cancer network centers. Journal of the National Cancer Institute. December 2014.

Singla S, Papavasiliou P, Powers B, Gaughan J, von Mehren M, Watson JC, Farma JM. Challenges in Treatment of Angiosarcoma: A Single Institution Experience. The American Journal of Surgery. April 2014.

Johnson ME, Zhu F, Li T, Wu H, Galloway TJ, Farma JM,. Perlis C Turaka A,. Absolute Lymphocyte Count: a Potential Prognostic Factor for Merkel Cell Carcinoma.  Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. March 2014.

Yeo H, Niland J, Milne D, Veer AT, Bekaii-Saab T, Farma JM, Lai L, Skibber J, Small W, Wilkenson N, Schrag D, Weiser M. Incidence of Minimally Invasive Colorectal Cancer Surgery at National Comprehensive Cancer Network Centers. Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Accepted for publication. January 2014.

Keller D, Thomay AA, Gaughan J, Wu H, Farma JM. Outcomes in Patients with Mucosal Melanomas. Journal of Surgical Oncology. October 2013.

Chen KT, Papavasiliou P, Edwards K, Zhu F, Perlis C, Wu H, Turaka A, Berger A, Farma JM. A better prognosis for merkel cell carcinoma of unknown primary origin. American Journal of Surgery. July 2013.

Arrangoiz R, Papavasiliou P, Siripuapu V, Li T, Watson JC, Hoffman JP, Farma JM, Partial stomach-partitioning gastrojejunostomy as an alternative for palliation in patients with malignant gastric or duodenal outlet obstruction. American Journal of Surgery. May 2013.

Nitzkorski, James, Willis, A, Farma JM, Zhu F, Nick D, Sigurdson, E. Association of race and socioeconomic status and outcomes with patients with rectal cancer. Ann Surg Oncol. January 2013.

Chen KT, Olszanski A, Farma JM. Donor transmission of melanoma following renal transplant. Case Reports in Transplantation. November 2012.

Farma JM, Zager JS, Barnica-elvir V, Puleo CA, Marzban SS, Rollison DE, Messina JL, Sondak VK. A collision of diseases: chronic lymphocytic leukemia discovered during lymph node biopsy for melanoma. Ann Surg Oncol. November 2012.

Papavasiliou P, Arrangoiz R, Farma JM. Utility of PET/CT in the staging and treatment of patients with Merkel Cell Carcinoma and Melanoma. Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Radiation Therapy. S5-001 October 2012.

Additional Publications

Dr. Jeffery Farma on PubMed