Dr. James Pingpank

How to Contact Dr. James Pingpank

Specializes in Peritoneal Mesothelioma
UPMC Cancer Center
5115 Centre Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15232
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Dr. James Pingpank earned his medical degree at the George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C. He completed one residency at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center in Philadelphia and another at the University of Connecticut Health Sciences Center in Farmington. His fellowship was done at the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia.

Dr. Pingpank is a surgical oncologist with board certification in both surgery and general surgery. He is a world-renowned expert in treating peritoneal mesothelioma and several other additional diseases that affect the abdomen. He also serves as a member of the Surgical Oncology Division at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC). Dr. Pingpank has revolutionized mesothelioma treatment by using a multimodal combination of surgery and localized chemotherapy to treat mesothelioma, a rare cancer caused by exposure to toxic asbestos.

Dr. Pingpank also practices at the Hillman Cancer Center in Pittsburgh. This cancer facility is considered the foremost curative and research facility of all agencies in the UPMC Cancer Centers system. It is world-renowned for its superior oncologists, including Dr. Pingpank, who provide treatment options that are not possible in any other location.

Philosophy for Treating Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a rare cancer that results from prolonged exposure to toxic asbestos. Dr. James Pingpank has advocated for mesothelioma treatment that protects healthy tissue surrounding diseased organs. In combating peritoneal mesothelioma, Dr. Pingpank supports regional therapy that focuses on locally affected areas of the body.

He believes the most effective results for patients with peritoneal mesothelioma come from a combination of surgery and chemotherapy treatment. However, Dr. Pingpank champions chemotherapy treatment where the drug is directly injected into the pleural space so that other healthy organs and tissues are not negatively affected. Dr. Pingpank also takes part in many research studies in the continuing search for additional ways to decrease the rate of early recurrence in patients. Finding specific treatment procedures for individual patients also aid in identifying mesothelioma patients who may be at higher risk for early local recurrence. Dr. Pingpank strives to provide treatment plans that can increase life expectancy and total quality of life for patients.

For example, Dr. James Pingpank conducted a clinical trial to study survival rates in malignant peritoneal mesothelioma patients who had cancerous cells or tumors removed during surgery before following up with regional chemotherapy. The study revealed that the median progression-free survival was 17 months, and median overall survival was 92 months. These results indicated that half of the patients in the study survived about 7.5 years or longer after treatment. The norm for peritoneal mesothelioma patients is a survival rate of five years after diagnosis.


Most of his 40 published articles and four of Dr. Pingpank’s scholarly works are focused on the rare cancer mesothelioma. Recently, Dr. Pingpank brought to light his discovery of activated pathways and their influence on mesothelioma patients’ survival rates. This groundbreaking work was published in the January 2011 issue of Cancer, and Dr. Pingpank’s many other scholarly works have appeared in the Annals of Surgical Oncology; Clinical Cancer Research; and Journal of Clinical Oncology.