- Specialty Mesothelioma
University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center
Address:5841 S. Maryland Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
Telephone: (888) 824-0200
- Procedure Chemotherapy
About Dr. Hedy Lee Kindler
Dr. Hedy Lee Kindler is a mesothelioma specialist based at the University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center, where she serves as Director of the Mesothelioma Program and Medical Director of Gastrointestinal Oncology.
She conducts and leads clinical trials and other forms of cancer research to:
- Develop new therapies
- Discover a cure for mesothelioma
- Improve the current methods of treatment
In addition to her work at the university, she is an associate editor of the academic journal Lung Cancer.
Because of her research and these editorial positions, Dr. Kindler is at the forefront of the latest research into mesothelioma treatment.
Academic and Research Contributions
Dr. Kindler has also written many academic articles, book chapters, and review articles. She has traveled internationally to present lectures and lead discussions at hundreds of scientific meetings to share her medical expertise with the world.
In recognition of her contributions as a doctor and researcher, Dr. Kindler is continuously listed as one of the Best Doctors in America, America’s Top Doctors for Cancer, and Top Doctors in Chicago.
The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) has awarded her the Selikoff Lifetime Achievement Award for her dedication to mesothelioma research.
“Mesothelioma isn’t lung cancer. To understand the subtleties of it, you need an expert. Especially at the beginning, it’s important to have someone who is comfortable with the disease, a quarterback who understands all the options out there.”
—Dr. Hedy Lee Kindler
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Dr. Kindler’s Professional Background
Dr. Kindler received her medical degree from the State University of New York, Buffalo, in 1989.
She then began working at Los Angeles Medical Center — part of the University of California school system — to complete her first internal medicine residency. She then completed a second residency at Montefiore Medical Center at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
After completing her two residencies, she studied oncology and hematology as part of her fellowship at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.
Dr. Kindler’s Affiliations
- American Association for Cancer Research (member)
- American Society of Clinical Oncology (member)
- International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (member)
- International Mesothelioma Interest Group (member)
- Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (member)
- Mesothelioma Subcommittee of the Cancer and Leukemia Group B (chair)
Dr. Kindler plays an active role in these organizations. She is also a past president of the International Mesothelioma Interest Group and has served on the board of various committees for additional organizations, foundations, and societies.
Awards & Honors
- America’s Top Doctors – Castle Connolly
- America’s Top Doctors For Cancer – Castle Connolly
- CMS Stage 1 EHR
- Mimi Ashton/ALCASE Award for Outstanding Patient Care
- Selikoff Lifetime Achievement Award – Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization
- Top Doctors – Chicago Magazine
Get our Free Survivors Guide to read about patients who are still alive several years after their diagnosis thanks to treatment from a mesothelioma specialist.
Dr. Kindler’s Medical Specializations
Dr. Kindler focuses on treating malignant pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma. She also ensures that all patient treatment plans are unified and tailored to each individual’s situation.
While many different treatment types exist, the procedures are more effective when conducted alongside complementary therapies.
For this reason, she collaborates with other medical professionals, like radiologists, nurses, and immunologists, to review the cases of the patients under their care.
Pleurectomy and Decortication (P/D)
Dr. Kindler has conducted several studies using pleurectomy and decortication (P/D) to treat pleural mesothelioma. In P/D, the surgeons remove the diseased pleura — the lining surrounding the lungs (pleurectomy) — and any surrounding tumors (decortication).
In her research, she discovered that the P/D is beneficial. She found that while the patient’s quality of life worsened in the month following the procedure, it did improve afterward.
In one of her studies, she looked at patients’ quality of life before the surgery and four more times between 1 and 11 months post-surgery.
Her study revealed that patients’ health-related quality of life improved after undergoing a P/D procedure. She also noticed that the patients whose quality of life improved the most were also the ones who had the worst symptoms before undergoing surgery.
Dr. Kindler also focuses on targeted therapy, whereby the tumor stops growing or is slowed down by drugs. As suggested by its name, these drugs target specific molecules that help the cancer cells grow or multiply.
One of the benefits of targeted therapy is that the drugs only attack the cancerous cells and leave the surrounding healthy tissues alone. Patients recover quicker because their bodies don’t need to heal from damaged healthy cells.
Unlike chemotherapy — which kills cancer cells and other normal cells that divide rapidly (such as hair cells) — targeted therapy focuses specifically on stopping cancer cells from reproducing.
One targeted therapy she focuses on is using therapeutic drugs such as bevacizumab and gemcitabine to interrupt cell signal pathways.
These drugs have shown signs of stopping tumor growth by interrupting cell signal pathways.
The long-term results have not been as positive as the researchers had initially hoped. There is a need for further research in this area because it suggests that reducing signal pathways may be the way to cure mesothelioma.
Immunotherapy for Mesothelioma
Dr. Kindler’s clinic is currently participating in a phase 1 clinical trial for the cancer vaccine CRS-207, a form of immunotherapy.
In immunotherapy, a patient is given drugs or other substances that help the body’s immune system recognize cancer cells as harmful. Once the body’s immune system knows which cells to target, immunotherapy helps the body’s immune system kill the cancerous cells.
In this study, patients will receive 2 doses of the vaccine with or without cyclophosphamide (which stimulates even more response from the immune system) and then a standard regimen of chemotherapy.
After chemotherapy, the patients will receive an additional 2 rounds of the vaccine.
“So, what about hope for the future? How can we continue to make progress against this disease? Key is to understand the biology of mesothelioma, which will require more funding and lobbying for basic science research.”
—Dr. Hedy Lee Kindler
CRS-207 is a genetically modified weakened form of the Listeria bacterium. The bacterium has been altered to cause the body’s immune system to react to mesothelin (a tumor-associated antigen) to help the body fight off the disease itself.
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Dr. Kindler has led numerous other clinical trials and has published her findings in more than 100 medical journals. She has helped shape the medical community’s understanding of the disease and continues to share discoveries regularly.
Her ongoing work continues to evaluate drug and surgical treatment options for pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma patients through clinical trials, hoping to improve patient outcomes and eventually find a cure.
Get your copy of our Free Survivors Guide to see what treatments have helped mesothelioma patients live for several years with their cancer.
Dr. Kindler recognizes the value of a multidisciplinary approach to mesothelioma treatment. She works alongside her surgical counterparts to review and assess patients, including pathologists, radiologists, nurses, and other critical members of the mesothelioma team.
“It’s a whole process that we do, and we do it as part of our multidisciplinary group that meets each week so that we can review patients together and try to come up with a unified treatment plan.”
—Dr. Hedy Lee Kindler
Dr. Kindler works with more than 100 patients annually; many have mesothelioma. She truly understands what her patients are going through because she lost her father to mesothelioma in 2001.
Connect With Dr. Hedy Lee Kindler and Other Specialists
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, it’s important to seek out treatment administered by top specialists like Dr. Kindler.
Fortunately, Mesothelioma Hope has the resources and experience to help you find the best doctor for your type and stage of cancer.
Try our Free Doctor Match program today to connect with local mesothelioma specialists who can help extend your life expectancy.
Mesothelioma Hope has no affiliation with and is not endorsed or sponsored by Dr. Hedy Lee Kindler. Any contact information listed is for informational purposes only. You have the right to contact Dr. Hedy Lee Kindler directly.