Suggested links
Headshot of Dr. Anne Tsao, mesothelioma doctor

Dr. Anne Tsao

Medical Oncologist

Dr. Anne Tsao is a multi-faceted academic, clinician, and leader who has earned international recognition for her contributions to the mesothelioma community. She is the director of the Mesothelioma Program at the prestigious University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX. Learn more about Dr. Tsao and get our help connecting with her today.

or call (866) 608-8933

About Dr. Anne Tsao

Dr. Tsao believes in individual, patient-based care and that personalized treatment plans should be developed for every mesothelioma patient. This approach is unique in the medical community, where “one size fits all” solutions are often prescribed.

In addition to directing MD Anderson’s mesothelioma program, Dr. Tsao is a professor at the university’s Department of Thoracic/Head and Neck Medical Oncology.

Dr. Tsao is a leader in researching malignant mesothelioma and thoracic oncology. Her current focus is on finding new gene therapy treatments for mesothelioma.

She has written or co-authored more than 100 publications in multiple academic journals.

Her research has been published in the following:

  • Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention
  • Journal of Clinical Oncology
  • Journal of Thoracic Oncology
  • Molecular Cancer Therapeutics

Present Titles & Affiliations

  • VP, Academic Affairs, Division of Academic Affairs, Sr VP Office
  • Professor, Department of Thoracic/Head and Neck Medical Oncology, Division of Cancer Medicine
  • Thoracic Section Chief, Department of Thoracic/Head and Neck Medical Oncology, Division of Cancer Medicine
  • Director, Thoracic Chemo-Radiation Program
  • Director, Mesothelioma Program
  • Clinical Medical Director, Department of Thoracic/Head and Neck Medical Oncology, Division of Cancer Medicine

Learn what questions to ask to maximize your appointment time with Dr. Tsao or another doctor with our Free Download: 14 Questions to Ask Your Doctor.

14 Questions to Ask Your Doctor packet
Free Download: 14 Questions to Ask Your Doctor
  • Preparing for treatment
  • Finding clinical trials
  • Getting a second opinion

Get Your Free Download

Dr. Tsao’s Awards and Contributions

  • American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Merit Award
  • ASCO Career Development Award
  • ASCO Young Investigator Award
  • Head and Neck SPORE Career Development Award
  • MD Anderson Achievement in Research Award
  • NIH Clinician Scientist K12 Award
  • President’s Recognition of Faculty Excellence – Excellence in Clinical Quality Improvement, MD Anderson Cancer Center
  • ASCO Advocacy Champion 2016 & 2017, ASCO
  • Fleming Fellowship for Mesothelioma Cancer Research, Fleming Foundation

Dr. Tsao’s Memberships and Organizations

Dr. Tsao serves on many committees and boards and is an active member of many national and international oncology societies.

She is a member of the following organizations:

  • MDACC Clinical Research Committee (Co-Chair)
  • Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) Lung Executive Committee
  • Scientific Board of the American Radium Society
  • SWOG (formerly known as the Southwest Oncology Group) Mesothelioma Steering Committee
  • SWOG Lung Executive Committee

Dr. Tsao also partners with ASCO and the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) to lobby the United States Congress to provide more funding for cancer research.

Dr. Tsao is also a member of the following medical research associations:

  • ASCO Leadership Development Program
  • International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer
  • Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation

Professional Background

Dr. Tsao began her medical studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where she earned a bachelor’s in molecular biology. She holds a medical degree from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine.

She performed her residency at the Indiana University Department of Internal Medicine. She completed her fellowship in medical oncology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, where she currently serves as vice president of academic affairs and as a professor in the Department of Thoracic/Head and Neck Oncology.

Dr. Tsao has led several innovative clinical trials, many focusing on treating malignant (cancerous) mesothelioma. She has also researched other forms of lung cancer and has been featured in numerous publications.

“There is truly no better feeling than seeing a patient do well on a clinical trial that you were instrumental in developing or had the original idea to do.”

- Dr. Anne Tsao, mesothelioma specialist
Mesothelioma doctor talking with an older couple
Free Mesothelioma Doctor Match

We'll help you connect with a local mesothelioma specialist for personalized treatment.

Find a Doctor Near You

Medical Specializations

Like most leading experts, Dr. Tsao believes the best way to treat mesothelioma is through a multidisciplinary approach and working cooperatively with other specialists like oncologists, radiologists, and surgeons.

To provide her patients with the best care, Dr. Tsao and her teams use individualized treatment plans that include novel therapies like immunotherapy or proton therapy.

Every patient and every instance of mesothelioma is unique, which is why Dr. Tsao advocates for individualized treatment plans. Rather than following a single treatment plan for all her patients, she determines which treatment paths are most effective depending on the cancer’s stage, prognosis, and available treatments.

Dr. Tsao’s Mesothelioma Research

Dr. Tsao has been the principal investigator for several of MD Anderson’s clinical trials. When it comes to research, Dr. Tsao concentrates on the molecular components of cancer so she can further individualize treatment plans.

Dr. Tsao focuses on genes, such as the SRC kinase gene, and proteins, like N-cadherin, to determine their connection to cancer.

Once she determines the relationship between genes or proteins and mesothelioma, she and other researchers use that knowledge to look for new treatments or better diagnostic methods.

Dr. Tsao has also served as the National Health Institute’s (NHI) principal investigator for phases 1 and 2 of a trial to test pemetrexed and cisplatin (standard mesothelioma chemotherapy drugs) with or without cediranib maleate — a substance that may inhibit tumor growth — to treat pleural mesothelioma.

Proton Therapy

One of Dr. Tsao’s areas of expertise is proton therapy. While proton therapy has been used to treat other forms of cancer, she helped develop this procedure as a treatment option for mesothelioma.

Proton therapy is a form of external beam radiation therapy. In proton therapy, the radiation travels from a machine outside of the patient, through their skin, and to the tumor.

Studies suggest that proton therapy delivers up to 60% less radiation to the healthy cells surrounding the tumor than conventional radiation therapies.

Targeted proton therapy likely produces less severe side effects than those from standard radiation.

Unlike photon-based external-beam radiation therapy, the protons or high-energy positively charged particles used in proton therapy go to specific places within the body without damaging additional cells.

Part of the reason is that the protons stop at the tumor, but with standard X-rays, the rays continue depositing radiation as they leave the body.

Dr. Tsao’s Healing Philosophy

Dr. Tsao has advocated for individualized patient plans, helping the medical community determine the value of developing personalized strategies for treating various types of mesothelioma and lung cancer.

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center is devoted to cancer prevention, treatment, education, and research. It is highly respected worldwide due to its exclusive devotion to cancer care.

Dr. Tsao also follows MD Anderson’s Thoracic/Head and Neck Oncology mission, which strives to provide high-quality patient care while simultaneously preventing aerodigestive cancers and advancing treatment options through laboratory research and clinical trials.

Get help after a mesothelioma diagnosis with our Free Mesothelioma Guide shipped overnight to your doorstep.

Mesothelioma Guide Images
Get Your Free 2024 Mesothelioma Guide
  • Symptoms & staging
  • Average prognosis
  • Life-extending treatments

Get Your Free Guide

Getting Specialized Mesothelioma Treatment

Do you or someone you know need expert care for mesothelioma or thoracic malignancies? Dr. Anne Tsao is an experienced professional who has worked in academic research, clinical practice, and administrative roles. Her contributions have improved treatment options for patients and inspired other medical professionals. Dr. Tsao is dedicated to improving patient outcomes and bringing hope to patients and their families.

By choosing Dr. Tsao as your doctor, you can trust that you will receive the most up-to-date standard of care. She is a leader in mesothelioma treatment research and will work with you to create a personalized treatment plan that meets your specific needs.

Dr. Tsao’s patients can also expect a caring and attentive doctor who takes the time to listen to their concerns. She will suggest treatments that are the best options for you and your situation.

If you would like to learn more about how Dr. Tsao can assist you or how to contact another pleural mesothelioma specialist, don’t hesitate to contact our patient advocates today.

Mesothelioma Hope has no affiliation with and is not endorsed or sponsored by Dr. Anne Tsao. Any contact information listed is for informational purposes only. You have the right to contact Dr. Anne Tsao directly.

Jenna TozziWritten by:

Director of Patient Advocacy

Jenna Tozzi, RN, is the Director of Patient Advocacy at Mesothelioma Hope. With more than 15 years of experience as an adult and pediatric oncology nurse navigator, Jenna provides exceptional guidance and support to mesothelioma patients and their loved ones. Jenna has been featured in Oncology Nursing News and is a member of the Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators & the American Nurses Association.

Our Promise to You
Our Promise to You
  1. “Pemetrexed Disodium and Cisplatin With or Without Cediranib Maleate in Treating Patients With Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma.” Retrieved from: Accessed on May 22, 2024.
  2. LinkedIn. “Anne Tsao MD, MBA.” Retrieved from: Accessed on May 22, 2024.
  3. MD Anderson Cancer Center. “Anne S. Tsao, MD.” Retrieved from: Accessed on May 22, 2024.
Get Help Connecting With
How We Can Help

Mesothelioma Hope is passionate about helping patients and families affected by this aggressive cancer. A mesothelioma diagnosis can be scary and isolating, but we’re here for you at every step. Hope is only a phone call away.

(866) 608-8933
Medical Guidance
  • Get a second opinion
  • Find a doctor or cancer center
  • Access clinical trials
  • Improve your quality of life
Financial Assistance
  • Access $30 billion in trust funds
  • File a mesothelioma claim
  • Increase your VA benefits
  • Apply for travel grants
Supportive Care
  • Find a support group or peer mentor
  • Get help with daily tasks
  • Explore respite care options
  • Navigate life post-treatment