Dr. Thomas Julian

Dr. Thomas Julian

Director-Breast Surgical Oncology-AHN
NRG/NSABP PI AHN, Professor of Surgery-Drexel University College of Medicine
Professor of Surgery-Temple University School of Medicine

Research by Allegheny General Hospital breast surgeon Thomas B. Julian has had a dramatic and lasting impact on all women, helping make breast cancer more preventable and survivable, and making treatment easier and less invasive.

Dr. Julian is an accomplished breast cancer surgeon, researcher and educator. As Associate Director of the Allegheny Breast Center, Director of Breast Surgical Oncology of AHN and Senior Surgical Director of Medical Affairs at the AGH-based National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP), he has served as principal investigator for numerous breast cancer pre- and post-launch clinical trials, studying topics such as primary systemic combination drug therapy in postmenopausal hormone-receptor positive breast cancer patients, the GeneSearch breast lymph node assay for intraoperative molecular testing, digital mammography imaging and MRI evaluation of the contralateral breast in recently diagnosed female breast cancer patients, among others.

Most recently, in June 2013, Dr. Julian presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Clinical Oncology the results of a trial confirming the effectiveness of a less invasive technique called sentinel node resection for women with breast cancer. The research found that sentinel node resection is as safe and effective as traditional surgery of removing all lymph nodes from the underarm area.

The 10-year follow up of the largest-ever Phase III trial comparing the two methods’ effect on breast cancer survival and recurrence shows no significant difference in overall survival or disease-free survival, Dr. Julian said.

“Removal of lymph nodes can result in painful complications for women with breast cancer,” Dr. Julian said. “This 10-year follow-up shows that women with node-negative breast cancer, the most common kind, can feel confident that a less-invasive sentinel node resection is equally effective and safe. Sentinel node resection is clearly the standard of care for these women.”

In 2010, the Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition named Dr. Julian recipient of the 2010 Vivian and Meyer P. Potamkin Foundation Award for Breast Cancer Research, given to an outstanding leader of the breast cancer research community.

Dr. Julian’s research and expertise has been widely published, appearing in more than 120 articles, reviews, book chapters, audio-visual displays, abstracts and scientific exhibits. He is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and its School of Medicine.

Together with colleagues Yoed Rabin, D.Sc. and Norman Wolmark, M.D., Dr. Julian was awarded two US patents for developing new methods and equipment for use in cryosurgery.

In addition, he is a very active clinician known for his caring, personal relationships with patients and belief that every patient must know all her options and choose the treatment or prevention strategy that is right for her.

Co-Chair for NCI Breast Oncology Local Regional Disease Task Force

Director: AGH/SSO Multidiscipline Breast Fellowship

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