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Jefferson Sets the Bar for Clinical Care & Research in Head & Neck Cancer

“Cancer free!”

Those words were music to the ears of Sally Jo LaMont, John Wilson, and David Rich. Each was treated at the Jefferson Center for Head and Neck Surgery and the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center.

Head and neck cancer is one of the few cancers that has increased in incidence in the last 20 years. In fact, this year more than 64,000 Americans will be diagnosed with some form of it, and about 13,700 will die.

“At the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, we conduct translational research that has saved the lives of many, and given others a longer, better life,” says William M. Keane, MD, chair of the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, and co-director of the Jefferson Center for Head and Neck Surgery. “But there is so much more to be done, and we won’t rest until every cancer is cured.”

Pioneering discoveries such as immunotherapy and targeted therapy have opened up new avenues of treatment.

“Our cutting-edge clinical trials are extending lives, changing the standard of care, and broadening the horizons of what’s possible,” Keane says.

“The research going on at Jefferson is so important,” says David, who was told he would have only one year to live if his throat cancer was not immediately treated. “The fact that they got this cancer out, that I’m here now, is all the end result of years of research and clinical trials.”

“I am cancer-free,” Sally Jo says, crediting the clinical excellence and kindness of the staff at Jefferson with her recovery. “The care I got there was exceptional—everyone seems very passionate about the work they do. They’re just great people.”

John concurs, adding, “They gave me my life back.”

But Jefferson doesn’t just conduct groundbreaking research and deliver lifesaving clinical care. It also brings educational cancer prevention programs and compassionate care to underserved communities in the region—and around the world. Jefferson’s unique outreach program, Project CHANCE, brings help and hope to those with head and neck disease in Haiti as part of its commitment to build international collaborations to serve all of humanity.