Dr. Nicholas James Petrelli , MD

Medical Oncology


Nicholas J. Petrelli, M.D., a nationally recognized expert on colorectal cancer, joined Christiana Care Health System as the Bank of America-endowed medical director of the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center in August 2001. As medical director, Dr. Petrelli oversees the state’s largest and most technologically advanced cancer program, including cancer detection, diagnosis and treatment. Some of his leadership initiatives since he arrived at the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center include: -Selection as a National Cancer Institute Community Cancer Centers Program (NCCCP) – one of 14 cancer programs the NCI chose to launch a strategic initiative that will greatly extend access to NCI-sponsored clinical trials around the country. -Establishing cancer multidisciplinary centers, where patients can see a surgeon, a medical oncologist and a radiation oncologist, all in one visit, concerning treatment for specific types of cancer; and have onsite access to a wide range of support services. -Involvement in the Early Lung Cancer Action Project (ELCAP), including a study of a screening technique using a low-dose computerized tomography (CT) scan to identify lung cancer earlier and improve the lives of Delawareans at risk for developing the disease. -Development of and participation in a monthly oncology videoconference designed to create a statewide conference between the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center and other Delaware cancer care providers to discuss difficult oncology management cases. Dr. Petrelli came to Christiana Care from one of the nation’s leading cancer programs, Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, NY, where he led several clinical trials for a promising form of chemotherapy. He has conducted substantial research into the genetics of colorectal cancer and co-authored several papers on the subject, which are among more than 250 manuscripts that he has contributed to peer-reviewed journals. He has been a co-principal investigator in the National Institutes of Health study, "Genomic Instability in Sporadic Colorectal Carcinoma" since 2001. Dr. Petrelli is an associate editor of the Journal of Clinical Oncology and section editor (gastrointestinal) of the Annals of Surgical Oncology. He is chairman-elect of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Continuing Medical Education Committee. He is a member and past chairman of the American College of Surgeons, Commission on Cancer, Committee on Education and is a principal investigator for the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP) since 1987, currently chairing the NSABP’s Colorectal Committee. He was President of the Society of Surgical Oncology for 2007-2008. Dr. Petrelli received a 2008 Statesman Award from the American Society of Clinical Oncology(ASCO). He received the American Cancer Society Clinical Oncology Fellowship Award in 1979 and 1980. He was recognized as the Outstanding Educator of the Year at Roswell Park in 1997, and was also a four-time winner of the Institute’s Golden Apple Award for Best Teacher in the surgical oncology division. He is currently a professor of surgery at Thomas Jefferson University and had previously been a professor of surgery at the State University of New York at Buffalo. He has been listed among the best doctors in the nation by Good Housekeeping and American Health magazines. Dr. Petrelli graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1969 and earned his medical degree at Tulane University Medical School, New Orleans, in 1973. He was a Fellow in Surgical Oncology at Roswell Park in 1978. He joined the staff at Roswell Park in 1982 after completing an International Union Against Cancer Fellowship in Milan, Italy, sponsored by the National Cancer Institute.

Gender: N/A

Years in Practice: N/A

Languages Spoken: English

Education & Training

Medical School: N/A

Graduation Date: N/A

Specialties & Hospital Affiliations

Hospital Affiliations:

  • Christiana Hospital

Specialties: Medical Oncology

Health Insurance and Affiliations

  • Aetna Choice POS II
  • Aetna Delaware Health Network Only Open Access
  • Aetna Delaware PPO
  • Aetna HMO
  • Aetna Managed Choice POS Open Access
  • Aetna Select
  • Aetna Signature Administrators PPO
  • Amerihealth Regional Pref Ntwk EPO POS + PPO
  • Amerihealth Regional Pref Ntwk HMO HMO + POS
  • CIGNA Open Access Plus
  • Coventry DE PPO
  • Coventry Southern Health PPO
  • Humana Choice POS
  • Humana ChoiceCare Network PPO
  • IBC Keystone HMO POS
  • IBC Personal Choice PPO
  • Oxford Freedom
  • Oxford Liberty
  • UHC Choice Plus POS
  • UHC Navigate HMO
  • UHC Navigate POS
  • UHC Options PPO

Dr. Petrelli's Office Information

Website: Not available
Accepting New Patients: No
Medicare Accepted: No
Medicaid Accepted: No

Office Hours:


Doctor Petrelli's Other Office Information

Website:Not available
Accepting New Patients: No
Medicare Accepted:No
Medicaid Accepted:No

Office Hours:


Helen F Graham Cancer Center
4701 Ogletown Stanton Rd # 1213
Newark, DE 19713
(302) 623-4550

Fax:(302) 262-3484
Accepting New Patients: Yes
Medicare Accepted:Yes
Medicaid Accepted:No

Office Hours:

Mon8:00 AM-5:00 PM
Tue8:00 AM-5:00 PM
Wed8:00 AM-5:00 PM
Thu8:00 AM-5:00 PM
Fri8:00 AM-5:00 PM