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Dr Baumgartner

Dr. Joel Baumgartner

Surgical Oncologist

Dr. Joel M. Baumgartner is a devoted surgical oncologist with extensive experience using cytoreductive surgery and heated chemotherapy (HIPEC) to treat patients with peritoneal mesothelioma and other abdominal cancers. He currently serves at UC San Diego Health as part of the largest HIPEC team on the West Coast. Learn more about Dr. Baumgartner and get our help connecting with him today.

or call (866) 608-8933


About Dr. Baumgartner

Dr. Joel M. Baumgartner is a surgical oncologist currently treating patients at Moores Cancer Center at UC San Diego Health in La Jolla, California. For more than 10 years, he has also worked as an assistant professor of surgery at UC San Diego.

Dr. Baumgartner’s clinical work focuses on:

  • Cutaneous malignancies
  • Gastrointestinal disorders
  • Mesothelioma
  • Soft tissue conditions

Additionally, Dr. Baumgartner researches patient outcomes from surgical oncology and reviews early-phase clinical trials that may someday cure cancers like mesothelioma.

“The ultimate plan is to have multiple new therapies, and research protocols in terms of treatment patients can have. We’re developing some right now.”

- Dr. Joel Baumgartner, mesothelioma specialist

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Dr. Baumgartner’s Career Highlights

Some of Dr. Baumgartner’s career highlights include:

  • Authored more than 90 published articles on mesothelioma and other cancers
  • Specialized education in clinical trials and scientific research
  • Treats mesothelioma patients at the largest HIPEC treatment center on the West Coast

Dr. Baumgartner’s Background

Dr. Joel Baumgartner holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Purdue University and a medical degree from Indiana University. Dr. Baumgartner completed an internship followed by a residency at the Anschutz Medical Campus of the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

He was also a surgical oncology fellow at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. This fellowship program allowed Dr. Baumgartner to focus on clinical research, as the university taught him how to run clinical trials.

At the end of his formal education, Dr. Baumgartner became a clinical instructor at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. In 2012, Dr. Baumgartner joined the team at the University of San Diego, working primarily at Moores Cancer Center in La Jolla, California.

Medical Specializations

With extensive experience working with patients diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma, Dr. Baumgartner is one of the nation’s leading HIPEC practitioners. His research focuses on early-phase clinical trials and surgical outcomes.

Dr. Baumgartner can also treat:

  • Gastrointestinal cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Skin cancers

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Dr. Baumgartner’s Career Accomplishments

Dr. Baumgartner has tremendous experience in utilizing HIPEC to treat abdominal cancers, including mesothelioma. As part of a reputable HIPEC team, he has been able to treat hundreds of mesothelioma patients and successfully extend their lives.

Awards & Honors

  • CMS Meaningful Use Stage 1 Certification
  • Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (FACS)
  • Top Doctors, San Diego Magazine

Dr. Baumgartner’s Current Work

Dr. Joel Baumgartner currently works at Moores Cancer Center at UC San Diego Health. He specializes in the treatment of gastrointestinal and peritoneal cancers, including mesothelioma.

He is one of the world’s leading practitioners of HIPEC and cytoreduction surgery for malignant cancers.

“The [cytoreduction] surgery involves removing all the tumors that we can see, and then after all the tumors have been removed, we bathe the abdomen with heated chemotherapy.”

- Dr. Joel Baumgartner, mesothelioma specialist

Moores Cancer Center has the largest HIPEC program on the West Coast, which gives Dr. Baumgartner and his team a distinct advantage in helping peritoneal mesothelioma patients.

Dr. Baumgartner is also an assistant clinical professor in UC San Diego’s Department of Surgery, where he educates and supervises the next generation of surgeons.

Dr. Joel Baumgartner is currently a member of:

  • American Association for Cancer Research
  • American College of Surgeons
  • American Society of Clinical Oncology
  • Society of Surgical Oncology

Notable Work

Cytoreductive surgery, in conjunction with HIPEC, is the standard treatment for patients with peritoneal mesothelioma and other abdominal cancers. However, this surgical approach is known to result in high levels of toxicity that can lead to unpleasant complications.

In one study, Dr. Baumgartner and his colleagues developed a new way of predicting these complications, using existing symptoms, the Charlson Comorbidity Index scoring system, and prior resection status.

This new system can help medical professionals better predict and prepare for complications when patients undergo HIPEC and cytoreductive surgery.

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Dr. Baumgartner’s Healing Philosophy

Dr. Baumgartner is a valuable member of the Moores Cancer Center team and will do everything he can to help patients in a friendly and timely manner.

The hospital’s mission is “to deliver outstanding patient care through commitment to the community, groundbreaking research and inspired teaching.” Moores Cancer Center strives to create a healthier world through new science, medicine, and cures.

Call (866) 608-8933 to find a top mesothelioma doctor near you who can treat your cancer.

Mesothelioma Hope has no affiliation with and is not endorsed or sponsored by Dr. Joel Baumgartner. Any contact information listed is for informational purposes only. You have the right to contact Dr. Joel Baumgartner 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. Baumgartner, J.M., Kwong, T.G., Ma, G.L. et al. “A Novel Tool for Predicting Major Complications After Cytoreductive Surgery with Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy.” Ann Surg Oncol 23, 1609–1617 (2016). Retrieved June 5, 2024, from
  2. LinkedIn. “Joel Baumgartner.” Retrieved June 5, 2024, from
  3. UC San Diego Health. “Joel M. Baumgartner, M.D.” Retrieved June 5, 2024, from
  4. U.S. World & News Report. “Dr. Joel Baumgartner, MD.” Retrieved June 5, 2024, from
  5. YouTube. “Heated Chemotherapy Treatment: How It Works.” Retrieved June 5, 2024, from
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