Dr. James Pingpank

Surgical Oncologist

Dr. James Pingpank is a surgical oncologist specializing in treating patients with peritoneal mesothelioma. He uses a combination of cytoreduction — a surgery to remove cancerous tumors from the abdominal lining — and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC). Learn more about Dr. Pingpank and how he may able to help improve your prognosis through his role as one of the nation’s leading mesothelioma specialists.

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About Dr. Pingpank

  • Peritoneal mesothelioma surgeon
  • 10+ years of experience treating cancer with HIPEC
  • Regularly featured speaker at the International Symposium on Malignant Mesothelioma

Dr. James Pingpank is an internationally recognized surgical oncologist and expert in gastrointestinal diseases. He has treated many patients diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma throughout his decades-long career.

In addition to serving as director of the Gastrointestinal Surgery Division at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), Dr. Pingpank is also a professor of surgery at the university’s medical school.

He is board certified in general surgery and specializes in minimally invasive, laparoscopic, and robotic surgical techniques.

“I take a collaborative approach and work closely with referring physicians throughout the community to provide a seamless transition of care from pre-operative, to surgery, to post-operative.”
– Dr. James Pingpank

A highly respected figure in the cancer research community, Dr. Pingpank is actively involved in clinical trials testing new treatments. He has authored more than 100 scientific articles, book chapters, and abstracts, and spoken at several national and international events.

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Dr. Pingpank’s Background

Dr. Pingpank received his medical degree from The George Washington University in 1992.

He completed his surgical residency at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine and a fellowship in surgical oncology at Fox Chase Cancer Center.

Before joining UPMC as a surgical oncologist in 2008, Dr. Pingpank was a research fellow at the University of Pennsylvania.

Awards & Honors

  • American Cancer Society Distinguished Service Award
  • American College of Surgeons Outstanding Cancer Researcher Award
  • Castle Connolly Regional Top Doctor
  • Compassionate Doctor Recognition
  • National Cancer Institute Director’s Award
  • Patient’s Choice Award
  • Technology Transfer Award
  • The Vital’s On-Time Doctor Award

Professional Affiliations

  • American Association for Cancer Research (Member)
  • American College of Surgeons (Fellow)
  • American Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association (Member)
  • American Society of Clinical Oncology (Member)

Recent Publications

  • Kowalsky, Stacy, et al. (2021). Omission of right hemicolectomy may be safe for some appendiceal goblet cell adenocarcinomas: a survival analysis of the National Cancer Database.
  • Mercier, Frederic, et al. (2022). An international registry of peritoneal carcinomatosis from appendiceal goblet cell carcinoma treated with cytoreductive surgery and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy. World Journal of Surgery.
  • Najjar, Yana G.., et al. (2022). Neoadjuvant pembrolizumab and high-dose IFNα-2b in resectable regionally advanced melanoma. Clinical Cancer Research.
  • Rieser, Caroline, et al. (2022). ASO visual abstract: socioeconomic barriers to CRS HIPEC for appendiceal cancer within a regional academic hospital system. Annals of Surgical Oncology.

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Dr. James Pingpank’s Medical Specializations

Dr. Pingpank specializes in treating peritoneal mesothelioma. This type of cancer is caused when asbestos fibers become lodged in the peritoneum — the lining that covers the abdomen.

Peritoneal Mesothelioma

Peritoneal mesothelioma is the second most common form of mesothelioma after pleural mesothelioma.

Symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma typically include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloating
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss

Additionally, patients may experience a feeling of fullness after eating or drinking.

The most effective treatment for peritoneal mesothelioma is cytoreductive surgery with HIPEC.

Cytoreductive Surgery With HIPEC

Dr. Pingpank has specific expertise performing cytoreduction surgery with HIPEC on peritoneal mesothelioma patients.

During the cytoreduction portion of the procedure, he removes as many visible tumors as possible from the abdominal cavity.

Dr. Pingpank then fills the patient’s abdominal cavity with a warmed chemotherapy solution (HIPEC) to kill the remaining tumors. After about 60 to 90 minutes, the abdominal cavity is drained and rinsed.

One benefit of applying mesothelioma chemotherapy this way is the drugs are administered directly to the affected area without having to travel through the bloodstream. This means that doctors can use a higher dosage than usual, which makes the procedure more effective.

“We think that durable control of malignant peritoneal mesothelioma is possible for patients undergoing aggressive surgical therapy.”
– Dr. James Pingpank

Learn more about cytoreduction with HIPEC and other treatments that may improve your prognosis in our Free Mesothelioma Guide.

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Working With Dr. Pingpank

Dr. Pingpank is committed to providing the highest quality of care to his patients and helping them live the best life possible. He is an inspiring leader in the field of gastrointestinal oncology and is devoted to advancing the science and practice of cancer care.

He spends time with each patient to listen to their concerns, answer any questions they might have, and thoroughly explain their different treatment options.

If you would like more information about working with Dr. Pingpank or another peritoneal mesothelioma specialist, contact our team today.

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

Written by:

Lead Editor

Laura Wright is a journalist and content strategist with more than 15 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.

  1. Doximity. “James Francis Pingpank, MD.” Retrieved from: https://www.doximity.com/pub/james-pingpank-md?show_more=true#publications. Accessed December 14, 2022.

  2. Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation. “Meet Mesothelioma Specialist James Pingpank, MD.” Retrieved from: http://www.curemeso.org/site/c.duIWJfNQKiL8G/b.9227603/k.7501/Meet_Mesothelioma_Specialist_James_Pingpank_MD.htm. Accessed December 14, 2022.

  3. Mesothelioma Hope. “Cytoreduction with HIPEC.” Retrieved from: /mesothelioma-treatment/surgery/cytoreduction-hipec/. Accessed December 14, 2022.

  4. Mesothelioma Hope. “Peritoneal Mesothelioma.” Retrieved from: /mesothelioma/peritoneal/. Accessed December 14, 2022.

  5. University of Pittsburg. Department of Surgery. “James F. Pingpank Jr., MD, FACS: Associate Professor of Surgery.” Retrieved from: http://www.surgery.pitt.edu/people/james-f-pingpank-jr-md-facs. Accessed December 14, 2022.

  6. UPMC Life Changing Medicine. “James F. Pingpank, MD.” Retrieved from: http://findadoc.upmc.com/PhysicianBioQuery.aspx?EPCDID=59683. Accessed December 14, 2022.

  7. UPMC Hillside Cancer Center. “James F. Pingpank, MD.” Retrieved from: http://hillman.upmc.com/find/providers/james-pingpank-59683. Accessed December 14, 2022.

  8. U.S. News. “Dr. James Pingpank.” Retrieved from: https://health.usnews.com/doctors/james-pingpank-4407. Accessed December 14, 2022.

  9. Vitals. “James F. Pingpank Jr.” Retrieved from: https://www.vitals.com/doctors/Dr_James_Pingpank/credentials. Accessed December 14, 2022.

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