John A. (Drew) Ridge, MD, PhD, FACS

Drew Ridge, MD, PhD, FACS

Clinical Locations

Primary Location

Fox Chase Cancer Center
333 Cottman Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19111


Chief, Head and Neck Surgery

Professor and Vice-Chair, Department of Surgical Oncology 

Louis Della Penna Family Chair in Head and Neck Oncology

President, Medical Staff

TRDG Member, Head and Neck CancerThyroid and Endocrine Cancer

Associate Director, Temple Head & Neck Institute

Treatment Focus

Head and neck cancers (tumors of the mouth and jaws, tonsil, tongue base, voicebox and sinuses), organ preservation, endocrine surgery (thyroid and parathyroid tumors); salivary gland tumors

Research Program

Key Awards

Philadelphia Magazine Top Docs 2020

Language(s) Other than English


Treatment Philosophy

I came to the department of surgical oncology at Fox Chase Cancer Center in 1991, moving from San Francisco to join one of the country's first multispecialty head and neck cancer teams. Since then, I have dedicated my career to curing as many patients with head and neck cancer as possible, while providing all of them with the best quality of life.

I recognized years ago that many patients with head and neck cancer could be cured and enjoy a high quality of life if they were treated with radiation and sometimes with chemotherapy, instead of surgery. As a result, I have worked closely with other cancer specialists to care for many patients without radical surgery. The Fox Chase team is well-known and highly regarded because we work together to offer each patient the treatments that will help them best.

Head and neck cancer is uncommon, and modern treatment of head and neck cancer can be complex. Our experienced and talented team employs skills developed through years of working collaboratively to cure patients with these rare tumors. Together, we draw common threads to craft a plan for each patient.

... Expand

Follow on Twitter: @FCCCSurgOnc


Education and Training

Educational Background

  • Fellowship, Surgical Oncology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY
  • Residency, General Surgery, University of Colorado, Denver, CO
  • MD, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, 1981
  • PhD, Biochemistry, Stanford University, 1978


  • American Board of Surgery


  • American Association of Endocrine Surgeons
  • American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists
  • American College of Surgeons
  • American Head and Neck Society
  • American Thyroid Association
  • American Radium Society
  • American Society of Clinical Oncology
  • Society of Surgical Oncology

Honors & Awards

  • Philadelphia Magazine Top Doctors, 2005-20
  • Best Doctors in America® , 2013-15, 2019-2020, Surgical Oncology
  • America’s Top Doctors® 2015-17
  • President, American Radium Society, 2015
  • President, American Head and Neck Society, 2010
Patient Stories

Charlie Osborne

Head & Neck Cancer

Charlie Osborne

Head & Neck Cancer

I quit smoking over 20 years ago because I noticed people getting annoyed with smokers — and was no longer allowed to smoke at work. I also knew it was a health hazard. By quitting the habit, I thought my chances of developing cancer had been diminished. Unfortunately, that was not the case.

In early 2005, at the age of 52, I experienced problems swallowing and had a blocked windpipe. I had trouble sleeping and began losing weight.

Kevin Logan

Head & Neck Cancer

Kevin Logan

Head & Neck Cancer

In 2010, Kevin Logan noticed a lump on his neck which turned out to be squamous cell carcinoma on the base of his tongue. Upon the recommendation to seek treatment at Fox Chase Cancer, that's where Kevin and his wife, Devra, went even though it was a three-hour drive from their home in Maryland. Kevin underwent a successful treatment of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation, and once he finished treatment, he returned to work full-time. "Many people who knew about my cancer often called to ask where I was treated, and I’m always telling them, 'Fox Chase is the place to go,' and I always will," he said.

Lynn Schoepske

Head & Neck Cancer

Lynn Schoepske

Head & Neck Cancer

I’ve been brushing my teeth twice a day religiously for 80 years—well, maybe 79. I never smoked or chewed tobacco. So, I was surprised when I noticed several of my teeth were loose. I went from my dentist to a periodontist to an oral surgeon, who told me, “Your gums look angry.”

Louis Della Penna

Kidney Cancer

Louis Della Penna

Kidney Cancer

Louis Della Penna made an appointment at Fox Chase Cancer Center in 1994 because he was concerned about a chronic sore throat. It was the best decision he made since he learned shortly after that he had kidney cancer. Louis underwent surgery to remove the cancer from his kidney and surrounding tissue. Today he is cancer free and supports programs at Fox Chase, including two endowments he and his wife funded. "My feelings for Fox Chase are very strong," he said. "If you want to support something wonderful, there is no better place to give, no matter what your contribution. I am cancer free today, and I continue to return to Fox Chase for follow-up visits. It’s an amazing story."

Donald Ebaugh

Head & Neck Cancer;  Liver, Gall Bladder & Bile Duct Cancer

Donald Ebaugh

Head & Neck Cancer;  Liver, Gall Bladder & Bile Duct Cancer

When he retired in 1990 at the age of 57, Donald Ebaugh was likely one of the most active retirees in Delaware. After retiring from the State's Medical Laboratory Division in Dover as a medical lab technician, he devoted much of his time to caring for horses, both as a trainer and rider. In 2015, at the age of 82, he still spends time with his horses, but two bouts with cancer have caused him to slow down.


Research Profile

Research Program

Research Interests

  • Nonsurgical management of head and neck cancer
  • Organ preservation
  • New techniques in head and neck surgery
  • Early and advanced thyroid tumors
  • Clinical trial design


Most of my research within the last 20 years has been undertaken at a national level, and has involved the design and execution of clinical trials. I am a member of of Fox Chase Cancer Center patient care and scientific strengths to address head and neck cancer, I have formally joined the molecular therapeutics program at Fox Chase, where I provide an important clinical context for research, promote translational goals (with patients and physician colleagues), and link with clinicians in other fields.


Selected Publications

Eze N, Lee JW, Yang DH, Zhu F, Neumeister V, Sandoval-Schaefer T, Mehra R, Ridge JA, Forastiere A, Chung CH, Burtness B. PTEN loss is associated with resistance to cetuximab in patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Oral oncology, 91:69-78, 2019. PubMed

Fakhry C, Zhang Q, Gillison ML, Nguyen-Tan PF, Rosenthal DI, Weber RS, Lambert L, Trotti AM, 3rd, Barrett WL, Thorstad WL, Yom SS, Wong SJ, Ridge JA, Rao SSD, Spencer S, Fortin A, Raben D, Harris J, Le QT. Validation of NRG oncology/RTOG-0129 risk groups for HPV-positive and HPV-negative oropharyngeal squamous cell cancer: Implications for risk-based therapeutic intensity trials. Cancer, 2019. PubMed

Murphy CT, Galloway TJ, Handorf EA, Egleston BL, Wang LS, Mehra R, Flieder DB, Ridge JA. The survival impact of increasing time to treatment initiation for patient with head and neck cancer in the United States. J Clin Oncol, in press. PubMed

Lango MN, Galloway TJ, Mehra R, Ebersole B, Liu JC, Moran K, Ridge JA. Impact of baseline patient-reported dysphagia on acute gastrostomy placement in patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma undergoing definitive radiation. Head Neck. 2015 Aug 31. doi: 10.1002/hed.24220.  PubMed PMID: 26332292. PubMed

Beck TN, Kaczmar J, Handorf E, Nikonova A, Dubyk C, Peri S, Lango M, Ridge JA, Serebriiskii IG, Burtness B, Golemis EA, Mehra R. Phospho-T356RB1 predicts survival in HPV-negative squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck. Oncotarget. 2015 Aug 7;6(22):18863-74. PubMed PMID: 26265441. PubMed

Ridge JA. Why "head and neck cancer"? Surg Oncol Clin N Am. 2015 Jul;24(3):xv-xvi. doi: 10.1016/j.soc.2015.04.001. PubMed PMID: 25979405. PubMed

Ringash J, Bernstein LJ, Cella D, Logemann J, Movsas B, Murphy B, Trotti A, Wells N, Yueh B, Ridge J. Outcomes toolbox for head and neck cancer research. Head Neck. 2015 Mar;37(3):425-39. doi: 10.1002/hed.23561. Epub 2015 Jan 22. PubMed

Pfister DG, Spencer S, Brizel DM, Burtness B, Busse PM, Caudell JJ, Cmelak AJ, Colevas AD, Dunphy F, Eisele DW, Gilbert J, Gillison ML, Haddad RI, Haughey BH, Hicks WL Jr, Hitchcock YJ, Jimeno A, Kies MS, Lydiatt WM, Maghami E, Martins R, McCaffrey T, Mell LK, Mittal BB, Pinto HA, Ridge JA, Rodriguez CP, Samant S, Schuller DE, Shah JP, Weber RS, Wolf GT, Worden F, Yom SS, McMillian NR, Hughes M. Head and neck cancers, Version 2.2014. Clinical practice guidelines in oncology. J Natl Compr Canc Netw. 2014 Oct;12(10):1454-87. PubMed PMID: 25313184. PubMed

Tejani MA, Galloway TJ, Lango M, Ridge JA, von Mehren M. Head and neck sarcomas: a comprehensive cancer center experience. Cancers (Basel). 2013 Jul 15;5(3):890-900. doi: 10.3390/cancers5030890. PubMed PMID: 24202325; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3795370. PubMed

Mehra R, Zhu F, Yang DH, Cai KQ, Weaver J, Singh MK, Nikonova AS, Golemis EA, Flieder DB, Cooper HS, Lango M, Ridge JA, Burtness B. Quantification of excision repair cross-complementing group 1 and survival in p16-negative squamous cell head and neck cancers. Clin Cancer Res. 2013 Dec 1;19(23):6633-43. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-13-0152. Epub 2013 Oct 2. PubMed PMID: 24088734; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4045641. PubMed

Lango M, Flieder D, Arrangoiz R, Veloski C, Yu JQ, Li T, Burtness B, Mehra R, Galloway T, Ridge JA. Extranodal extension of metastatic papillary thyroid carcinoma: correlation with biochemical endpoints, nodal persistence, and
systemic disease progression. Thyroid. 2013 Sep;23(9):1099-105. doi: 10.1089/thy.2013.0027. PubMed PMID: 23421588; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3770240. PubMed

Garg MK, Ridge JA, Yom SS, McDonald MW, Quon H, Smith RV, Yeung AR, Lawson J, Saba N, Salama JK, Beitler JJ. Reply, contralateral irradiation for T(limited)N2bM0 lateralized tonsil cancer. Head Neck. 2013 Mar;35(3):465-6. doi:
10.1002/hed.23212. Epub 2013 Feb 5. PubMed PMID: 23386559. 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.


4.8 / 5.0


  • 4.8
  • 4.8
  • 4.8
  • 4.9
  • 4.7


  • 5.0
    May 25, 2020
    Best dr. I ever went to.
  • 5.0
    May 05, 2020
    I was very satisfied and was well cared for by Dr Ridge and his team.
  • 5.0
    April 22, 2020
    Concerned for my health & walked me through & was clear in explaining what was going on with my help.
  • 5.0
    February 25, 2020
    Everyone is courteous, professional & friendly. Dr. Ridge is #1.
  • 5.0
    February 21, 2020
  • 5.0
    January 20, 2020
    My experience was very good.
  • 5.0
    January 16, 2020
    Dr. Ridge & his team Dr. [...] & Dr. [...] all provided - excellent knowledge & were very detailed on up coming surgery & recovery.
  • 5.0
    December 22, 2019
    I am always pleased with Dr. Ridge & his staff.
  • 5.0
    December 19, 2019
  • 5.0
    November 29, 2019
    Dr. Ridge is a great doctor and does a good job explaining everything.
  • 5.0
    November 18, 2019
    Great explanation of issues and the staff made sure my next appointment or test was scheduled before I left.
  • 5.0
    November 14, 2019
  • 5.0
    October 15, 2019
    So far so good.
  • 5.0
    October 02, 2019
    Dr. Ridge saved my life.
  • 5.0
    September 26, 2019
    Dr. Ridge is such a wonderful physician, a true asset to Fox Chase.
  • 5.0
    September 24, 2019
    All good.
  • 5.0
    September 24, 2019
  • 5.0
    September 19, 2019
    Dr. Ridge best doctor.
  • 5.0
    August 16, 2019
    Excellent experience with my visit with Dr. Ridge
  • 5.0
    August 13, 2019
    Dr Ridge and staff they. where excellent

Connect with Fox Chase