Headshot of Dr. Harvey Pass, mesothelioma specialist.

Dr. Harvey Pass

Dr. Harvey I. Pass is the chief of thoracic surgery and the Stephen E. Banner Professor of Thoracic Oncology at New York University Langone Health. With extensive knowledge of malignant and benign diseases of the chest, his main areas of expertise are mesothelioma and lung cancer.

About Dr. Harvey Pass

Dr. Pass has been instrumental in the early diagnosis of stage I and II pleural mesothelioma. He has 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 3000 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 as a lieutenant commander in the commissioned corps at the United States Public Health Service Hospital on Staten Island for two years.

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 previously 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 School of Medicine as chief of thoracic surgery and professor of cardiothoracic surgery. He also leads the Early Detection Research Network: Biomarker Developmental Laboratory, which researches mesothelioma biomarkers to improve detection and patient treatments.

Dr. Pass is certified by the American Board of Thoracic Surgery as a cardiothoracic surgeon. He specializes in general thoracic surgery and mesothelioma treatment.

Dr. Pass’s Career Accomplishments

Dr. Pass has been recognized by Castle Connolly as one of America’s Top Doctors For Cancer for several years. He has made significant contributions 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 both 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 who have been exposed to asbestos. This is a particularly crucial discovery for mesothelioma patients, where early treatment options are proven to be 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

Dr. Pass’s Current Work

Dr. Pass is currently the director of thoracic surgery at the New York University Langone Health. In this role, he treats patients, researches mesothelioma and other lung cancers, and works toward a cure for pleural mesothelioma.

Through a grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), Dr. Pass leads the Early Detection Research Network: Biomarker Developmental Laboratory. The laboratory first received funding in July 2010 and was renewed in 2014.

This laboratory aims to:

  • Create more accurate patient risk assessments
  • Diagnose cancer subtypes better
  • Discover, develop, and validate biomarkers that can be used to detect cancer early

Dr. Pass is also a member of numerous medical associations.

These medical groups include:

  • American Association for Thoracic Surgery
  • Cardiothoracic Surgery Network
  • General Thoracic Surgical Club
  • Society of Thoracic Surgeons

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 both medical and patient perspectives into a single book, Dr. Pass provides the ultimate resource for those who want to know more about mesothelioma.

The book, which was first published in 2004 and has been re-published twice, 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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Dr. Pass’s Healing Philosophy

Dr. Pass knows that treating patients diagnosed with mesothelioma is a team effort, and he works with a wide range of professionals to ensure every individual gets the best care possible.

“For a cancer center, we really have a very personal approach to how we take care of the patients. The patients always comment that they are treated very, very well, they’re treated very efficiently, and they’re able to see multiple doctors on the same day.”

- Dr. Harvey Pass

He values the opinions of all team members including thoracic surgeons, oncologists, radiologists, and nurse practitioners. Dr. Pass believes that using minimally invasive techniques is the key to improving patient quality of life:

“We exclusively, when available for a patient, use minimally invasive techniques. Recently in the last three or four years, we’ve had a big robotic experience.”

- Dr. Harvey Pass

Contact the Mesothelioma Hope team now at (866) 608-8933 to find top mesothelioma doctors.

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.

Written by:

Lead Editor

Laura Wright is a journalist and content strategist with more than 14 years of professional experience. She attended college at the University of Florida, graduating magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 2008. Her writing has been featured in The Gainesville Sun and other regional publications throughout Florida.

5 References
  1. CTSNet. “Harvey I. Pass, M.D.” Retrieved from: https://www.ctsnet.org/home/hpass. Accessed on December 12, 2022.

  2. LinkedIn. “Pass, Harvey.” Retrieved from: https://www.linkedin.com/in/pass-harvey-4a64b29/. Accessed on December 12, 2022.

  3. NYU Langone Health. “Harvey I. Pass, MD.” Retrieved from: https://med.nyu.edu/faculty/harvey-i-pass. Accessed on December 12, 2022.

  4. U.S. News & World Report. “Dr. Harvey Pass, MD.” Retrieved from: https://health.usnews.com/doctors/harvey-pass-10125. Accessed on December 12, 2022.

  5. YouTube. “Meet Thoracic Surgeon Dr. Harvey Pass.” Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nxc2DaL91do. Accessed on December 12, 2022.

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