Jordan Center for Gynecologic Cancers

Premier Research Program

Penn's Abramson Cancer Center has one of the nation's leading programs dedicated to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of gynecologic cancer.

Since Penn’s discovery of the Philadelphia Chromosome, which revolutionized cancer treatment, we’ve had a history of groundbreaking research.

Currently, we are at the forefront of discoveries in a number of areas, all of which can make a difference to you and your family, both today and in the future.

Making History

  • A pioneer in establishing and developing the subspecialty of gynecologic oncology.
  • The first to discover that the presence of tumor infiltrating T-cells, can predict an improvement in the outcome of patients with advanced ovarian cancer. This discovery marks the first time that researchers have found that a spontaneous immune response against cancer influences the course of the disease.
  • Development of the first ovarian cancer vaccine.
  • Penn was home to Nobel laureate Harald zur Hausen, when he developed his theory that it was the human pappilloma virus rather than the herpes virus that caused cervical cancer.
  • Foremost ovarian and breast cancer genetics risk evaluation program in the country

Shaping the Future of Cancer Care

  • A dedicated gynecologic cancers research laboratory which is the only one of its kind in the Philadelphia region and one of only a handful in the country.
  • Innovative clinical and basic science research to develop new treatments for recurrent and advanced gynecologic cancer as well as new approaches for cancer detection and prevention.
  • Comprehensive research funded by the National Institutes of Health, ensuring the latest discovery is translated to better patient care immediately.
  • A Center for Research on Early Detection and Cure of Ovarian Cancer, the first of its kind in the region led by George Coukos, MD, PhD.


    The center is:

    • Conducting a vaccine trial based on our finding that ovarian cancer responds to immunotherapy.
    • Researching a blood test that would detect some ovarian cancers when the tumor is a size where it can be successfully treated.
    • Studying additional therapies, such as whole tumor antigen vaccines, T-cell therapies and combination therapies. It is anticipated that immunotherapy in combination with surgery and chemotherapy may show promise in treating ovarian cancer.

As one of the nation's largest cancer research centers our investigators benefit each day from collaborations and interactions with over 400 scientists and physicians involved in the Abramson Cancer Center.