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Dr. Christine A. Ciunci

Dr. Christine A. Ciunci

Medical Oncologist

Dr. Christine A. Ciunci is a medical oncologist with the Mesothelioma and Pleural Disease Program at Penn Medicine in Philadelphia.

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About Christine A. Ciunci

  • Pleural and Lung Cancer icon

    Pleural and Lung Cancer

  • Research Excellence icon

    Excellence in Research

  • Works for Specialty Center icon

    Works for Specialty Center

  • Immunotherapy icon


  • Board Certified icon

    Board Certified in Medical Oncology

Ciunci serves as interim chief of hematology oncology at the Abramson Cancer Center at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center.

She has clinical expertise in asbestosis, mesothelioma, non-small cell lung cancer, thymus cancer, diaphragm tumors and thoracic cancer.

As a clinician seeing patients, she has maintained a strong interest in research and helping develop new and better methods of treating rare cancers such as mesothelioma.

Ciunci is the principle investigator in a phase I clinical trial for mesothelioma patients that is evaluating the safety and anti-tumor activity of MGD009, a novel immunotherapy drug designed to target specific antigens in several cancers.

She is working on another clinical trial studying the tolerability, safety and anti-tumor activity of Keytruda (pembrolizumab) in patients whose lung cancer has returned after radiation therapy.

Keytruda has been highly effective for a small percentage of patients with pleural mesothelioma, although it has not been approved for that disease by the FDA.

Ciunci’s research covers lung cancer, several other thoracic malignancies, and head and neck cancers.

The Journal of Clinical Oncology has published two multi-center studies in which she was the lead author. One of those studies involved patterns and effectiveness of surveillance after curative intent surgery in non-small cell lung cancer.

Mesothelioma Program Is Highly-Acclaimed

The highly-acclaimed Mesothelioma and Pleural Disease Program at Penn Medicine includes specialists from multiple disciplines, allowing it to offer more treatment options than most other centers.

Those specialists include thoracic surgeons, medical oncologists such as Ciunci, radiologists, pulmonologists and pathologists.

The coordination within the program makes it easier to turn the latest research advancements into novel treatments, allowing patients to benefit.

Ciunci also serves the Head and Neck Cancer Program, one of the largest on the East Coast, and the Lung Cancer Program, which offers advanced surgical options for both small cell and non-small cell lung cancer.

She graduated from the Temple University School of Medicine. She did both her fellowship and residency at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital, where she now serves as an assistant professor of clinical medicine.

Ciunci treats patients at both Penn Presbyterian Medical Center and the University of Pennsylvania Hospital.

Disclaimer: Dr. Christine A. Ciunci has no professional affiliation with

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Tim Povtak is an award-winning writer with more than 30 years of reporting national and international news. His specialty is interviewing top mesothelioma specialists and researchers, reporting the latest news at mesothelioma cancer centers and talking with survivors and caregivers.

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3 Cited Article Sources

The sources on all content featured in The Mesothelioma Center at include medical and scientific studies, peer-reviewed studies and other research documents from reputable organizations.

  1. Penn Medicine. (n.d.). Christine A. Ciunci, MD.
    Retrieved from:
  2. Penn Medicine, Abramson Cancer Center. (n.d.). Mesothelioma and Pleural Disease Program.
    Retrieved from:
  3. (2019, March 6). Safety Study of MGD009 in B7-H3-expressing Tumors. Retrieved from:

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Last Modified July 24, 2020

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