Nicholas J. Petrelli, MD, Receives Tilton Award From Medical Society of Delaware
Nicholas J. Petrelli, MD
Nicholas J. Petrelli, MD, Bank of America Endowed Medical Director of ChristianaCare’s Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute, received the Tilton Award from the Medical Society of Delaware in October. The award is named after James Tilton, MD, the first U.S. Army Surgeon General of the United States as well as the first President of the Medical Society of Delaware.
The award recognizes Dr. Petrelli’s efforts over the past 17 years to decrease Delaware’s cancer mortality rate and improve cancer care throughout the state. Dr. Petrelli’s leadership and collaboration with partners across the state have helped Delaware to achieve reductions in the cancer mortality rate that are double the national average. The state is outpacing the nation in reducing deaths from breast and colorectal cancers. Delaware also became the first state to eliminate the racial disparity in colorectal cancer incidence and mortality between African American and white patients.
Highlights of Dr. Petrelli’s many accomplishments follow:
- Developed 14 multidisciplinary disease site centers and selected one of the original cancer centers to participate in the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Community Cancer Centers Program
- Under his leadership, the Graham Cancer Center achieved one of the highest NCI clinical trials participation rates in the country at 27%, well above the national rate of 4% to 5%.
- Developed the first statewide High-Risk Family Cancer Registry, consisting of 9,250 individuals with more than 349,000 family members and 7 full-time genetic counselors
- Established a research partnership with The Wistar Institute of Philadelphia, an international leader in biomedical research, to collaborate on translational cancer research with the aim of bringing the latest discoveries in cancer research to patients with cancer in the community
- Created the Center for Translational Cancer Research at the Graham Cancer Center, where scientists and clinicians work together to find new cancer treatments
- Helped to establish the Gene Editing Institute at ChristianaCare. ■