Richard B. Womer, MD

Richard B. Womer, MD, is a pediatric oncologist at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Areas of Expertise: Bone tumors, Sarcomas, Sarcomas and medical safety
Locations: Main Campus
Appointments and Referrals: 1-800-TRY-CHOP (1-800-879-2467)

  • Background

    I specialize in sarcomas, which are cancers of connective tissues (such as bones, muscles and tendons). I coordinate the evaluation of patients with sarcomas, supervise their chemotherapy and coordinate their treatment with surgeons, radiation oncologists and other specialists. I am the senior member of our sarcoma team, which has three physicians and a nurse practitioner.

    When dealing with complicated diseases like sarcomas, it is important to take the time to do things right. Treating sarcomas involves lots of scans, tests, medicines and consultations with other professionals -- and families can find the process confusing and overwhelming. Many sarcoma patients are teenagers who are just beginning to gain their freedom, only to lose a lot of it as they become cancer patients. That is why it is important that I understand the patient and family, and that they understand what we are doing and why. We work to make the patient and family active participants in treatment.

    I also specialize in medication and chemotherapy safety. Working closely with other physicians, nurses, pharmacists, computer specialists and others, I try to make the complex process of ordering and administering chemotherapy and other medicines as straightforward and safe as possible, both in the Cancer Center and in the hospital as a whole.

    My research involves the development of sarcoma studies through the Children's Oncology Group, the world's largest childhood cancer research organization. I also work with biology researchers who are trying to combine clinical and biologic data to understand and treat sarcomas better.

    At The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, we are fortunate to have people who study every variety of pediatric cancer in depth. Whether it's sarcoma or another cancer, there is someone in our division who is an expert and focuses their research on it -- and who knows other experts around the world. We also have nurses, child life specialists, nutritionists, social workers, physical therapists and others who specialize in treating children with cancer. That is a huge advantage for patients and families, and helps make CHOP a wonderful place to work.


  • Education and Training

    Medical School

    MD - University of Rochester School of Medicine, Rochester NY


    Pediatrics - University of Virginia Hospital, Charlottesville, VA


    Pediatrics - Hospital for Sick Children, London, England
    Pediatrics - University of Virginia Hospital, Charlottesville, VA


    Leukaemia Research Fellow - Institute of Child Health, London, UK
    Oncology - The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA

    Additional Training

    Honorary Senior Registrar - Hospital for Sick Children, Great Ormond Street, London, UK

    Board Certification


  • Titles and Academic Titles

    Attending Physician

    Medical Director, Tumor Registry, Cancer Center

    Professor of Pediatrics, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

  • Departments and Services
  • Research Interests

    Clinical and "translational" research on the diagnosis and treatment of childhood sarcomas
    System improvement for medical safety

  • Publications




    Shapiro B, Womer RB: Rhabdomyosarcoma.  In: Decision Making in Oncology, Philip Schein (ed), BC Decker, Inc., Philadelphia, 1989, pp. 198-99.

    Cornelius AS, Womer RB: Osteosarcoma.  In: Decision Making in Oncology, Philip Schein (ed),          BC Decker, Inc., Philadelphia,1989, pp. 202-203.


    Womer RB: Extracranial Primitive Neuroectodermal Tumor: Proceedings of the Tumor Board of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.  Medical and Pediatric Oncology 12(2):119-122, 1984.



    Lerman DJ, Monument MJ, McIlvaine E, Liu X-Q, Huang D, Monovich L, Beeler N, Gorlick RG, Marina NM, Womer RB, Bridge JA, Krailo MD, Randall RL, Lessnick SL: Tumoral TP53 and/or CDKN2A alterations are not reliable prognostic biomarkers in patients with localized Ewing sarcoma: A report from the Children’s Oncology Group. Pediatric Blood and Cancer 62:759-65, 2015.

    DuBois S, Krailo M, Gebhardt M, Donaldson S, Marcus K, Dormans J, Shamberger R, Sailer S, Nicholas R, Healey J, Tarbell N, Randall RL, Devidas M, Meyer J, Granowetter L, Womer RB, Bernstein M, Marina N, Grier HE: Comparative Evaluation of local control strategies in localized Ewing sarcoma of bone: A report from the Children’s Oncology Group. Cancer (in press).

    Volchenboum S, Andrade J, Huang L, Barkauskas DA, Krailo M, Womer RB, Ranft A, Potratz J, Dirksen U, Triche TJ, Lawlor ER: Gene expression profiling of Ewing sarcoma tumors reveals the prognostic importance of tumor-stromal interactions. Journal of Pathology: Clinical Research (in press).


    Monument MJ, Johnson KM, McIlvaine E, Watkins WS, Jorde LB, Womer RB, Bridge JA, Schiffman JD, Krailo MD, Randall RL, Lessnick SL: Clinical and biochemical function of polymorphic NR0B1 GGAA-microsatellites in Ewing sarcoma: a report from the Children's Oncology Group. PLOS ONE 9:e104378, 2014.

    Sacks N, Hwang W-T, Lange BJ, Tan K-S, Sandler ES, Rogers PC, Womer RB, Pietsch JB, Rheingold SR: Proactive enteral tube feeding in pediatric patients undergoing chemotherapy. Pediatric Blood and Cancer, 61:281-285, 2014.


    Hill-Kayser CE, Tochner Z, Both S, Lustig R, Reilly A, Balamuth NJ, Womer RB, Maris JM, Grupp S, Bagatell R: Proton versus photon radiation therapy for patients with high-risk neuroblastoma: The need for a customized approach. Pediatric Blood and Cancer 60:1606-1611, 2013.

    Weiss AR, Lyden ER, Anderson JR, Hawkins DS, Spunt SL, Walterhouse DO, Wolden SL, Parham DM, Rodeberg DA, Kao SC, Womer RB: Histologic and clinical characteristics can guide staging evaluations for children and adolescents with rhabdomyosarcoma: A report from the Children’s Oncology Group. Journal of Clinical Oncology 31:3226-3232, 2013.

    Posters and Presentations


    Cash T, McIlvaine E, Krailo MD, Lessnick S, Lawlor ER, Laack N, Sorger J, Marina N, Grier HE, Granowetter L, Womer RB, DuBois SG: Comparison of clinical features and outcomes in patients with extraskeletal versus skeletal Ewing sarcoma: A report from the Children’s Oncology Group. American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL, June 2015.


    Daw NC, Laack NN, Krailo MD, McIlvaine E, Grier HE, Granowetter L, Womer RB, Marina NM, Bernstein ML, Gorlick RG, Randall L: Local control modality and outcome in Ewing sarcoma of the femur: A report from the Children’s Oncology Group. Connective Tissue Oncology Society Annual Meeting, Berlin, Germany, October 2014.


    Hill-Kayser CE, Bagatell R, Reilly A, Womer R, Balamuth N, Both S, Lustig R, Tochner Z: Outcomes after proton therapy for pediatric patients with cancers of the head and neck region.  American Society for Radiation Oncology Annual Meeting, Louisville, KY, May 2013.

  • Awards and Honors

    2005, Faculty Honor Roll, Pediatric House Staff, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
    2001-2002, 2005-2006, 2008-2009, 2011-2015, Listed in Best Doctors in America
    1985-1988, National Cancer Institute Clinical Investigator Award, 1KO8 CA-01026
    1982-1984, American Cancer Society Clinical Fellowship

  • Editorial and Academic Positions

    Academic and Institutional Committees

    2014-present, Clinical Informatics Council
    2012-present, Formulary Committee, Medical Staff
    2012-present, Specialists with Advanced Technical Training (SWATT) Team, Department of Pediatrics
    2011-present, Drug Use Evaluation Committee, Medical Staff
    2009-present, Lead Medical Clinical Champion, Epic/Beacon Oncology Project
    2009-present, Pediatric Proton Triage Committee
    2005-present, Therapeutic Standards Committee
    2002-present, Clinical Decision Support Committee, chair
    1999-present, Information Services Committee, Medical Staff

  • Leaderships

    Memberships in Professional Organizations

    American Academy of Pediatrics
    American Society of Clinical Oncology
    Connective Tissue Oncology Society