Minimally Invasive Surgery
Thoracic Surgery

Get to Know Dr. David C. Rice

Thoracic surgeon Dr. David Rice is an innovator who has helped pioneer the use of minimally invasive procedures that provide the same oncologic benefit as traditional surgeries, but with less trauma for patients.

He is a renowned professor of surgery at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

Rice has played a major role in expanding the use of video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery for the treatment of many malignancies. He was the first surgeon at MD Anderson to perform the technically challenging, minimally invasive esophagectomy.

He led a study published in 2020 that uncovered a novel treatment that reduced pain and opioid use and led to quicker recoveries for patients undergoing a lung resection. The procedure was called Enhanced Recovery After Surgery pathway and employed the use of a long-acting local anesthetic.

Rice is the former director of the mesothelioma surgery program at MD Anderson. His extensive research played a major role in improving the diagnostics and staging of pleural mesothelioma.

Even though mesothelioma often requires aggressive surgery when possible, Rice’s leadership has allowed patients with inoperative thoracic disease to benefit from less-invasive procedures.

Specialties of Dr. David C. Rice

  • Lung cancer
  • Pleural mesothelioma
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Minimally invasive surgery
  • Advanced bronchoscopic diagnostics
  • Robotics

Dr. David C. Rice’s Experience and Medical Education

  • University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
  • Baylor College of Medicine (Residency)
  • Mayo Clinic Minnesota (Residency and fellowship)
  • St. James’s Hospital, Dublin, Ireland (Internship)
  • The School of Medicine Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin (M.B.)

Awards and Certifications

  • American Board of Thoracic Surgery
  • American Board of Surgery
  • Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (Fellow)
  • Surgery Chief Resident Teaching Award, University of Texas
  • Society of Thoracic Surgeons Award on Aging
  • Kaare K. Nygaard Travel Award for Clinical Research

Publications of Dr. David C. Rice

  • Shewale, J.B. et al. (2020, February). Time Trends of Perioperative Outcomes in Early Stage Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Resection Patients. The Annals of Thoracic Surgery.
  • Chen, Y. et al. (2019, November 1). Tumor characteristics associated with engraftment of patient-derived non-small cell lung cancer xenografts in immunocompromised mice. Cancer.
  • Nelson, D.B. et al. (2019, September). Return to intended oncologic treatment after surgery for malignant pleural mesothelioma. Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery.
  • Nelson, D. et al. (2019, March 21). Enhanced recovery after thoracic surgery is associated with improved adjuvant chemotherapy completion for non-small cell lung cancer. Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery.