Dr. Pass has been instrumental in the early diagnosis of stage I and II pleural mesothelioma. Dr. Pass identified osteopontin, a protein, which 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. Harvey’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
Dr. Pass’ Location
If you’re interested in working with Dr. Pass, you can reach him at:
New York University Medical Center
530 First Avenue, Suite 9V
New York, NY, 10016
Dr. Pass’ Career Highlights
Dr. Pass has dedicated his career to mesothelioma research and has many accomplishments including:
- Discovered osteopontin and gave physicians the ability to quickly and easily screen patients for pleural mesothelioma
- Leads the Early Detection Research Network: Biomarker Developmental Laboratory to improve mesothelioma detection and treatment options
- Has been actively researching malignant pleural mesothelioma for nearly two decades
- Pioneered the use of immunochemotherapy as a mesothelioma treatment
- Helped found the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (MARF)
Dr. Pass’ Background
Dr. Harvey Pass began his medical education at Duke University, where he first earned his MD, followed by an internship and residency in general surgery. Dr. Pass then served as a Lieutenant Commander in the commissioned corps at the United States Public Health Service Hospital on Staten Island for two years. Afterward, he attended the University of Mississippi Surgical Residency program before completing a cardiothoracic residency and assistant professorship at the Medical University of South Carolina.
These experiences prepared him for the next phase of his career, where he began to research thoracic cancers and make his mark in the diagnosis and treatment of pleural mesothelioma. Dr. Pass was a Senior Staff Fellow at the National Cancer Institute for three years, where he was then promoted to Head of Thoracic Oncology and Senior Investigator for the next decade. During this time, he would contribute 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 onto 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.
As of 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 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’ Career Accomplishments
Dr. Harvey Pass is an extraordinarily accomplished surgeon and has been recognized by Castle Connolly as one of America’s Top Doctors For Cancer for the past 12 consecutive years. He has made significant contributions to mesothelioma research and care 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.
For example, Dr. Pass was one of the first surgeons to study photodynamic therapy’s applications for thoracic cancer and pleural mesothelioma. Dr. Pass helped pioneer the use of immunochemotherapy as a 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 that would allow for cancer research collaboration.
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 helped found the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (MARF) and has served as a mesothelioma patient advocate through many organizations, including the Lung Cancer Alliance.
Awards & Honours
- America’s Top Doctors
- America’s Top Doctors For Cancer
- New York Magazine: Top Doctors
- Top Doctors: New York Metro Area
- ACS Fellow
- Checkbook Top Doc
- CMS Stage 1 EHR
Dr. Pass’ Current Work
Dr. Pass is currently the director of Thoracic Surgery at the New York University Medical Center. It’s in this role that he continues to treat patients, research mesothelioma and other lung cancers, and work towards a cure for pleural mesothelioma.
Through an NCI grant, Dr. Pass also leads The Early Detection Research Network: Biomarker Developmental Laboratory. This laboratory aims to discover, develop and validate biomarkers that can be used to detect cancer early, diagnosis cancer subtypes better, and create more accurate patient risk assessments. The laboratory first received funding in July 2010 and was renewed in 2014.
Dr. Harvey Pass is a member of numerous medical associations, including:
- American Association for Thoracic Surgery
- Cardiothoracic Surgery Network
- General Thoracic Surgical Club
- The 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.
100 Questions & Answers covers a wide range of important topics including a patient’s standard treatment options and side-effects, quality of life expectations, legal rights and politics, and available support resources, and reviews mesothelioma from both an emotional and physical angle. The comprehensive book also helps patients find ways to discuss their illness with friends, family and children. 100 Questions & Answers was first published in 2004 and has been re-published twice, with the third edition released in 2012.
Dr. Pass’ Healing Philosophy
Dr. Pass knows that treating a patient 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 believes that in continued communication and education within his multidisciplinary lung cancer treatment team. 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