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Dr. Harvey Pass

Retired Thoracic Surgeon

Dr. Harvey I. Pass is the Stephen E. Banner Professor of Thoracic Oncology at New York University’s Grossman School of Medicine. He has spent decades of his career treating patients with pleural mesothelioma. With extensive knowledge of malignant and benign diseases of the chest, his current area of focus is clinical research on pleural mesothelioma and lung cancer.

About Dr. Harvey Pass

Dr. Pass was instrumental in the early diagnosis of stage I and II pleural mesothelioma. He identified osteopontin, a protein that presents at increased levels in individuals with pleural mesothelioma.

The protein can be detected by blood, which makes it simple and cost-effective to screen people who have previously been exposed to asbestos. Earlier treatment leads to more positive outcomes, which makes Dr. Pass’s discovery significant for mesothelioma patients.

“You have to think about yourself if you have mesothelioma because this is a rare disease. This is a disease that affects only 3,000 people in the United States, and people really don’t know enough about the disease.”

- Dr. Harvey Pass

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Dr. Pass’s Career Highlights

  • Actively researching malignant pleural mesothelioma for more than two decades
  • Discovered osteopontin and gave physicians the ability to quickly and easily screen patients for pleural mesothelioma
  • Helped found the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (Meso Foundation)
  • Leads the Early Detection Research Network: Biomarker Developmental Laboratory to improve mesothelioma detection and treatment options
  • Pioneered the use of immunochemotherapy as a mesothelioma treatment

Dr. Pass’s Background

Dr. Harvey Pass earned his medical degree at Duke University, where he completed his internship and residency in general surgery. He then served two years as a lieutenant commander in the commissioned corps at the United States Public Health Service Hospital on Staten Island.

He also attended the University of Mississippi Surgical Residency program before completing a cardiothoracic residency and assistant professorship at the Medical University of South Carolina.

Dr. Pass served as a senior staff fellow at the National Cancer Institute for three years, where he was promoted to head of thoracic oncology and senior investigator for 10 years. During this time, he contributed to the research and publication of close to a hundred articles — a number that’s grown to more than 250 in the years since.

Dr. Pass eventually moved on to Washington State University as a professor of surgery and oncology. He continued his devotion to researching thoracic cancers and mesothelioma while teaching the next generation of oncologists.

Since 2005, Dr. Pass has been working at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine, where he is currently the Stephen E. Banner Professor of Thoracic Oncology for the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery. He also serves as the Vice Chair of Research for the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery and a professor within the Department of Surgery.

Dr. Pass’s Career Accomplishments

For several years, Castle Connolly has recognized Dr. Pass as one of America’s Top Doctors For Cancer. He has significantly contributed to mesothelioma research in his more than 20 years of practice. He pioneered many advancements for mesothelioma and helped lay the foundation for the treatment options available today.

He was one of the first surgeons to study photodynamic therapy’s applications for thoracic cancer and pleural mesothelioma. Dr. Pass championed immunochemotherapy as a form of mesothelioma treatment, combining the powerful effects of chemotherapy and immunotherapy. He was also one of the first surgeons to help establish a tissue bank for cancer research collaborations.

These accomplishments were all made before Dr. Pass’ most important mesothelioma discovery: The elevated presence of the protein osteopontin in patients with pleural mesothelioma.

Detected by a simple blood test, osteopontin allows for earlier screening and diagnosis for individuals exposed to asbestos. This is a particularly crucial discovery for mesothelioma patients, where early treatment options are proven more effective and increase survival rates.

Dr. Pass also helped found the Meso Foundation and has served as a mesothelioma patient advocate through many organizations, including the Lung Cancer Alliance.

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Dr. Pass’s Awards & Honors

  • American Chemical Society Fellow
  • America’s Top Doctors
  • America’s Top Doctors For Cancer
  • Checkbook Top Doc
  • CMS Stage 1 EHR
  • New York Magazine: Top Doctors
  • Top Doctors: New York Metro Area

Notable Work by Dr. Pass

Dr. Pass co-authored the book, “100 Questions & Answers About Mesothelioma,” which has become a leading guide for patients and their loved ones. By combining medical and patient perspectives into a single book, Dr. Pass provides the ultimate resource for those wanting to know more about mesothelioma.

The book was first published in 2004, and has been re-published three times, and covers a wide range of important topics.

Topics featured in this book include:

  • Analysis of mesothelioma from emotional and physical perspectives
  • Available support resources
  • Legal rights of patients
  • Quality of life expectations
  • Standard treatment options and side effects

The comprehensive book also helps patients find ways to discuss their diagnosis with friends, family, and children.

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Connect With Other Top Mesothelioma Specialists

Mesothelioma Hope can help you connect with top mesothelioma doctors who provide life-extending treatment for patients nationwide.

Call us now at (866) 608-8933 or sign up for our Free Doctor Match program to begin your treatment journey.

Mesothelioma Hope has no affiliation with and is not endorsed or sponsored by Dr. Harvey Pass. Any contact information listed is for informational purposes only. You have the right to contact Dr. Harvey Pass 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. CTSNet. “Harvey I. Pass, M.D.” Retrieved from: Accessed on May 29, 2024.
  2. LinkedIn. “Pass, Harvey.” Retrieved from: Accessed on May 29, 2024.
  3. NYU Langone Health. “Harvey I. Pass, MD.” Retrieved from: Accessed on May 29, 2024.
  4. U.S. News & World Report. “Dr. Harvey Pass, MD.” Retrieved from: Accessed on May 29, 2024.
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