Jeffrey L. Tokar, MD
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Fox Chase Cancer Center
333 Cottman Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19111
Director, Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
Endoscopic ultrasound with fine needle aspiration; Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP); Endoscopic mucosal resection; Endoscopic ablation (radiofrequency ablation, cryospray ablation, argon plasma coagulation); Double balloon enteroscopy; Enteral stenting; EUS-guided fiducial placement.
Many people assume that Fox Chase Cancer Center's department of medical oncology is composed only of medical oncologists. They are often surprised to learn that Fox Chase has an active gastroenterology section with six board-certified gastroenterologists; each with our own areas of expertise and different training backgrounds.
Personally, during my gastroenterology and hepatology fellowship at the University of Virginia, I became interested in 'interventional and therapeutic endoscopy.' I completed an extra year of training to learn how to perform advanced endoscopic procedures. These years of training further enhanced my knowledge and skill set, enabling me to provide highly specialized, yet individualized, care to patients with a wide variety of complex gastrointestinal problems.
Fox Chase is an ideal environment for me to work for many reasons. The primary reason is that patients with cancerous or precancerous conditions often benefit from endoscopic procedures. For example, these procedures can not only help diagnose cancers, but they can help prevent or even cure certain forms of cancer (sometimes eliminating the need for patients to undergo more invasive surgical procedures).
Endoscopic procedures assist other healthcare providers (such as medical, surgical and radiation oncologists) in giving the highest quality of care they can to their patients. In some cases, we use endoscopy to reduce some of the symptoms and side effects of cancer and cancer treatment.
As a recognized center of expertise in high-end endoscopic procedures, we, at Fox Chase, have developed relationships with cutting-edge, innovative biotechnology companies. This often enables us to offer patients the newest endoscopic procedures that are frequently not available at other medical centers.
Finally, Fox Chase is a well-known academic cancer center with faculty members who are nationally and internationally recognized for their expertise in a wide range of clinical and research activities. Thus, Fox Chase fosters important collaborations among people who share my ultimate goal, which is to identify new and better ways to prevent, treat and cure cancer.
- Fellow, Interventional Endoscopy, University of Virginia Health System, Digestive Health Center of Excellence, Charlottesville, VA
- Fellow, Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University of Virginia Health System, Digestive Health Center of Excellence, Charlottesville, VA
- Resident, Internal Medicine, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, VA
- MD, State University of New York at Syracuse School of Medicine, Syracuse, NY, 1997
- American Board of Internal Medicine, Internal Medicine, Gastroenterology, Hepatology
- American Gastroenterological Association
- The American College of Gastroenterology
- American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
- Delaware Valley Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
Honors & Awards
- Best Doctors in America® 2013, 2014
In the summer of 2003, Mahmood Saeed was enjoying a typical day in his native Pakistan, playing a round of golf with friends on a sunny day, when he was suddenly overwhelmed by shooting pain in his abdomen. Having passed out from the pain, he woke up to find himself in a hospital. Doctors immediately diagnosed Mahmood with severe pancreatitis and he went directly into surgery. But what the surgeons found was much worse than pancreatitis - cancer had spread throughout Mahmood’s kidney. He was diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma and surgeons removed the kidney immediately.
Beating the odds is old hat to Barbara Cremean. In 1998, after dropping her daughters off at school, she was hit head on by a drunk driver. "I was on my way to the most important meeting of my career—and my life changed in an instant," recalls Barbara. She underwent spinal fusion surgery and started the long road to recovery. Little did she know, her serious health problems had just begun – and she was only 37 years old.
In November 1999, Beth Brendlinger followed doctor's orders and had her first colonoscopy. She was 52. Beth learned she had a villous adenoma in situ (a precancerous lesion) which was surgically removed. Follow-up visits proved she was fine, so Beth went on with life as usual. Eight years later, in 2007, routine blood work revealed Beth's alkaline phosphatase (a liver enzyme) level was high. Through further testing, Beth learned she had a mass on the right lobe of her liver. Ironically, she had no symptoms and felt completely fine.
- Pancreatic cysts
- Endoscopic oncology (endoscopic diagnosis, evaluation, treatment of gastrointestinal neoplasms)
- Small bowel enteroscopy
Tokar JL, Allen JI, Kochman ML. “Getting to Zero: Reducing the Risk for Duodenoscope-Related Infections”. Ann Intern Med. 2015. PMID 26390309
Lieberman D, Brill J, Canto M, DeMarco D, Fennerty B, Gupta N, Laine L, Lightdale C, Montgomery E, Odze R, Rex D, Sharma P, Kochman M, Tokar J. “Management of Diminutive Colon Polyps Based on Endoluminal Imaging”. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2015. PMID26192139.
Tokar JL. Gastric Carcinoids: Ask-The-Expert, ASGE Connection, June 2015; 3(2):1-7.
Wani S, Wallace MB, Pike IM, Adler DG, Kochman ML, Lieb JG 2nd, Park WG, Rizk ML, Sawhney MS, Shaheen NJ, Tokar JL. Quality indicators for EUS. American Journal of Gastroenterology 2015; 110(1):102-13. PubMed
Chen KT, Kim PD, Jones KA, Devarajan K, Patel BB, Hoffman JP, Ehya H, Huang M, Watson JC, Tokar JL, Yeung AT. Potential prognostic biomarkers of pancreatic cancer. Pancreas. 2014 Jan;43(1):22-7. doi: 10.1097/MPA.0b013e3182a6867e
Konda V, Banarjee S, Barth BA, Bhat YM, Chauhan SS, Gottlieb KT, Maple JT, Murad FM, Pfau PR, Pleskow DK, Siddiqui UD, Tokar JL, Wang A, Rodriguez SA. “Enhanced imaging in the GI tract: spectroscopy and optical coherence tomography.” ASGE Technology Committee. Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, 2013 Oct; 78(4):568-73. PMID 24054739.
Tokar JL, Walia R. “Diagnostic evaluation of solid pancreatic masses.” Curr Gastroenterol Rep 2013 Oct;15(10):347. PMID 23996593.
Prasad Kerlin M, Tokar JL. “Acute gastrointestinal bleeding.” Ann Intern Med 2013 Aug 6;159(3):ITC2-1. PMID 23922080.
Tokar JL, Barth BA, Banerjee S, Chauhan SS, Gottlieb KT, Konda V, Maple JT, Murad FM, Pfau PR, Pleskow DK, Siddiqui UD, , Wang A, Rodriguez SA. ASGE Technology Committee. “Electrosurgical generators.” Gastrointestinal Endoscopy 2013 Aug;78(2):197-208. PMID 23867369.
Verrengia MA and Tokar JL. ‘Post-colonoscopy Decision Making: The Guidelines and Beyond.’ In: Core Concepts in Colonoscopy. Slack, Inc. 2013. [Book Chapter]