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Dr. Dennis Wigle

Dr. Dennis Wigle

Thoracic Surgeon

Dr. Dennis Wigle is a mesothelioma specialist at Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Cancer Center in Rochester, Minnesota. He’s spent more than 20 years treating chest-related (thoracic) cancers. His primary expertise is thoracic surgery, but he also researches genetics and immunotherapy. Learn more about Dr. Wigle and get our help connecting with him today.

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About Dr. Dennis Wigle

Dennis Wigle M.D., Ph.D. has been the Chair of the Division of Thoracic Surgery at Mayo Clinic of Rochester since 2015. He has a wide range of experience in treating conditions related to asbestos exposure, including mesothelioma and lung cancer.

As a thoracic surgeon, he specifically treats patients diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma, the primary type of this cancer, which develops in the lung lining (pleura).

He also has a passion for research on genetics and the use of immunotherapy and other targeted treatments to help extend the lives of cancer patients.

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Dr. Dennis Wigle’s Mesothelioma Treatment Approach

Dr. Wigle prefers to use minimally invasive surgeries and treatment options whenever possible, including robot- and video-assisted surgery.

He works alongside medical oncologists, radiologists, and other mesothelioma doctors to develop personalized treatment plans that are both safe and effective.

His patients often receive a combination of different treatments, including surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and immunotherapy.

Recently, Dr. Wigle has been researching certain molecules in mesothelioma tumors called biomarkers that could help guide treatment decisions by showing doctors how the cancer might respond to certain therapies.

“Any kind of label that could indicate whether the patient sitting in front of me has a high chance of being cured or not is critically important. That could change how we treat patients — from the kind of surgery we do, to whether they get chemotherapy afterward, to how closely we follow them.”
– Dr. Dennis Wigle, pleural mesothelioma specialist

Dr. Dennis Wigle’s Medical Specialties

Dr. Wigle is qualified to treat several different health conditions, but he has a special interest in cancers of the lungs and esophagus.

His medical specialties include:

  • Mesothelioma
  • Lung cancer
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Hiatal hernia (when part of the stomach pushes up into the chest through the diaphragm)
  • Pneumothorax (collapsed lung)
  • Thymic tumor (cancer of the thymus gland located between the lungs)

He specializes in the following procedures:

  • General thoracic surgery
  • Lung volume reduction surgery (removing sections of severely damaged lung tissue)
  • Pneumonectomy (lung removal)
  • Robotic surgery
  • Segmentectomy (extracting part of a lung lobe to remove a tumor)
  • Video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS)

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Dr. Dennis Wigle’s Medical Background

Dr. Wigle earned his medical degree from the University of Toronto’s Temerty Faculty of Medicine in 1997.

In 2002, he completed a postdoctoral research fellowship in molecular and medical genetics at Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute at Sinai Health in Toronto, Ontario.

Dr. Wigle also served on several committees related to cancer treatment and mesothelioma from 2008 to 2022.

He joined the team at Mayo Clinic, one of the nation’s top cancer centers, in 2015.

Highlights of Dr. Dennis Wigle’s Medical Career

Dr. Wigle has won several awards, obtained various board certifications and memberships, and seen his work published in multiple professional journals.

Awards & Accolades

Dr. Wigle has been honored by medical organizations and institutions for his contributions to cancer education and research.

These honors include:

  • American Cancer Society Fellow
  • American College of Surgeons Faculty Scholarship Award, 2006
  • CHEST Foundation/LUNGevity Foundation Clinical Research Award in Lung Cancer, 2010
  • Mayo Clinic Early Career Development Award for Clinician Scientists, 2008
  • Mayo Clinic Surgery Subspecialty Teaching Award, 2008
  • National Institutes of Health (NIH) K12 Career Development Award, 2009

Professional Affiliations and Certifications

Dr. Wigle has held numerous positions during his 20+ year career as a thoracic surgeon.

These memberships and licenses include:

  • Board certification in general surgery from the Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons of Canada
  • Board certification in thoracic surgery from the Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons of Canada
  • Executive Board Member of the Mesothelioma Foundation from 2016-2018
  • Group Chair of the General Thoracic Surgery Club, 2019-present
  • Member of the Mayo Clinic Division of Thoracic Surgery, 2014-present
  • State of Arizona Medical License
  • State of Minnesota Medical License

Contact us today to get help connecting with Dr. Wigle and other mesothelioma specialists. Our registered nurses are standing by to assist you.

Dr. Dennis Wigle’s Published Works

Dr. Wigle has authored and co-authored several studies for peer-reviewed medical journals. In fact, he was the lead author of one of the first studies to identify a molecular biomarker for lung cancer in 2000.

A few of his most recent publications include:

  • “Sublobar Resection, Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy, and Percutaneous Ablation Provide Comparable Outcomes for Lung Metastasis-Directed Therapy.” Published in Chest, May 2024.
  • “Secondary Analysis of the Rate of Second Primary Lung Cancer From Cancer and Leukemia Group B 140503 (Alliance) Trial of Lobar Versus Sublobar Resection for T1aN0 Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer.” Published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, April 2024.
  • “An In-Silico Analysis Reveals Further Evidence of an Aggressive Subset of Lung Carcinoids Sharing Molecular Features of High-Grade Neuroendocrine Neoplasms.” Published in Experimental and Molecular Pathology, February 2024.
  • “Neoadjuvant Immunotherapy in Sarcomatoid mesothelioma (Alliance A082101).” Published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, March 2023.

Use our Free Doctor Match now to get connected with top mesothelioma experts like Dr. Wigle in your area.

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Dr. Dennis Wigle’s Work in Cancer Treatment and Research

Research has played a significant role in Dr. Wigle’s career in cancer treatment, providing important insights into patient care.

Dr. Wigle’s work in cancer research has focused on three main areas:

  1. Gene expression biomarkers and how molecular changes can lead to the development of lung adenocarcinoma (a type of non-small cell lung cancer)
  2. Stem cells and lung regeneration as organ replacement therapy for cancer
  3. The use of immune checkpoint inhibitors and other types of immunotherapy drugs

Dr. Wigle also conducts clinical trials testing new drugs and medications for mesothelioma and lung cancer. He’s dedicated to ensuring that patients have access to the latest treatments in ongoing trials.

“We strive to provide clinical trial opportunities for every patient that walks through the doors of our clinic. Approximately 25% of patients we see in our division get enrolled in some form of clinical trial.”
– Dr. Dennis Wigle, pleural mesothelioma specialist

He’s currently recruiting mesothelioma patients for a trial that’s studying whether chemotherapy followed by surgery and intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) can improve survival.

Get in Touch With Dr. Dennis Wigle

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma, it’s important to see a doctor who specializes in this rare cancer.

Dr. Wigle is currently accepting new patients at Mayo Clinic and can provide expert care for those living in and around Minnesota.

Call (866) 608-8933 so we can connect you with Dr. Wigle or use our Free Doctor Match to find other top specialists in your area.

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

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  1. Mayo Clinic. (2015, October 8). Biomarker discovery: Staying one step ahead of cancer. Retrieved May 22, 2024, from
  2. Mayo Clinic. (2017, December 14). Clinical Trials in Thoracic Surgery. Retrieved May 22, 2024, from
  3. Mayo Clinic. (n.d.). Dennis Wigle, M.D., Ph.D. Retrieved May 22, 2024, from
  4. Mayo Clinic. (n.d.). Dennis Wigle, M.D., Ph.D. Retrieved May 22, 2024, from
  5. U.S. National Library of Medicine. (2024, April 9). Chemotherapy Followed by Surgery and Neoadjuvant Hemothoracic Intensity Modified Radiation Therapy (IMRT) for Patients With Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma. Retrieved May 22, 2024, from
  6. U.S. News & World Report. (n.d.). Dr. Dennis A. Wigle MD. Retrieved May 22, 2024, from
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