Nicholas J. Petrelli, MD, FACS, the Bank of America endowed Medical Director of Christiana Care’s Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute, Newark, Delaware, received the 2014 Clinical Research Award from the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) in recognition of his leadership initiatives promoting and advocating for oncology clinical research. The ACCC presented Dr. Petrelli with the award at the 31st National Oncology Conference held recently in San Diego.
A recognized expert on colorectal cancer, Dr. Petrelli has led the development of a state-of-the-art clinical oncology care program at the Graham Cancer Center. The center has served as a National Cancer Institute (NCI) Community Cancer Center Program site and has achieved an accrual rate of 24% in NCI-sponsored clinical trials, well above the national rate of 5%.
In August 2014 the Graham Cancer Center earned a 5-year, $8.2 million grant from NCI’s Community Oncology Research Program to bring leading-edge cancer screenings, prevention, control, treatment, and imaging research trials to more people in the places closest to where they live.
In addition, Dr. Petrelli spearheaded the development of a Tissue Procurement Center with more than 5,000 specimens, cataloged through the NCI’s Cancer Bioinformatics Grid (caBIG/caTissue), which led to $4.6 million funding for participation in the Cancer Genome Atlas Project. Dr. Petrelli also developed the first Delaware statewide High Risk Family Cancer Registry, consisting of 5,640 families with more than 200,000 individuals.
Dr. Petrelli joined Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute in August 2001. Previously, he was Chair of the Department of Surgical Oncology and Director of the Surgical Oncology fellowship training program at Roswell Park Cancer Institute. He received his medical degree from Tulane Medical School in New Orleans, Louisiana. Following a general surgery residency in San Francisco, he completed a surgical oncology fellowship at Roswell Park Cancer Institute. ■