W. Thomas London, MD

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A Century of Excellence

A Century of Excellence

Discover the history of one of the nation's first cancer hospitals.
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Research Areas

Research Areas

We study all aspects of cancer from basic biology to the treatment of disease
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Chairman, Fox Chase Cancer Center Institutional Review Board
Senior Member

E-mail: Thomas.London@fccc.edu

Research Career

In 1966, Dr. London began a long-term collaboration with Dr. Baruch Blumberg, the discoverer of the hepatitis B virus (HBV). He has had a leading role in epidemiological, clinical, and virological studies of hepatitis B and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) that has resulted in more than 265 publications. Dr. London initiated an HCC prevention program for Asian Americans living in the Philadelphia area in 1983 that continued until 2004. The program combined screening for hepatitis B infection, immunization of susceptibles, management of chronically infected individuals, and early detection of HCC.

In 1992, Dr. London initiated large prospective studies of 90,000 adults in Haimen City, China and 19,000 members of the military in Senegal, west Africa. Both areas were known to have high prevalences of chronic infection with HBV and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The goal of the research was to identify the factors that led to high risk of HCC. Chronic infection with HBV proved to be the major risk factor for HCC with viral load (quantity of HBV DNA in serum) the determining factor. Other risk factors were identified including family history of HCC, personal history of clinical hepatitis, and occupation (farmer), Blood folate levels and selenium concentration in toenails were inversely associated with HCC risk. The Haimen City cohort continues to be followed. The risk of HCC was significantly lower for HBV infected men in Senegal than in China. The primary reason was a lower viral load among Senegalese men.

Distinguished Interdisciplinary Research Award, American Cancer Society Southeast Region

Distinguished Scientist Award, Hepatitis B Foundation, Doylestown, PA

"Service rendered to the Chinese communities of Philadelphia," American Association of Ethnic Chinese
Medical Excellence Award, American Liver Foundation, Delaware Valley Chapter


Currently, Dr. London is the chairman of the FCCC Institutional Review Board (IRB), a post he has held since 1988. The FCCC IRB was among the first institutions in the United States to be accredited by the Association for Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs (AAHRPP) in July 2004. Fox Chase was one of the first freestanding comprehensive cancer center and the first program in Pennsylvania to receive accreditation. The IRB was re-accredited in July, 2007.


Dr. London is a graduate of Oberlin College, BA, 1953 and Cornell University Medical College, M.D., 1957.