Quick Facts
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    Cytoreductive Surgery
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    Surgical Oncology
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    Primary Location:
    Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins Bayview

Get to Know Dr. Fabian Johnston

As a surgical oncologist, Dr. Fabian Johnston often treats peritoneal mesothelioma patients with a combination of cytoreductive surgery and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy, often known as HIPEC.

Johnston also has expertise in pancreatic cancer, colorectal cancer, gastroesophageal cancer, stomach cancer and neuroendocrine tumors.

Johnston is involved in research that has worked to improve the utilization of palliative care and enhance the quality of life for patients with advanced malignancies.

He has taken a leadership role in various organizations, including the Association of Academic Surgeons and the American College of Surgeons.

His expertise in the cytoreductive surgery/HIPEC combination has helped extend survival significantly for several abdominal cancers, including peritoneal mesothelioma.

In one recent study of peritoneal mesothelioma, the median overall survival for patients who underwent the combination treatment was 6.65 years. Almost 30% of the patients had a survival estimate of 10 years or more.

Johnston joined Johns Hopkins Medicine in 2016 after nine years as an assistant professor of surgery at the Medical College of Wisconsin. In 2021, Johnston published research in the Journal of Surgical Oncology with updated recommendations for colorectal cancer treatment.

Contact Dr. Fabian Johnston

Specialties of Dr. Fabian Johnston

  • Mesothelioma
  • Cytoreductive surgery
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Palliative care research
  • Gastrointestinal tumors

Dr. Fabian Johnston’s Experience and Medical Education

  • Johns Hopkins Medicine
  • Medical College of Wisconsin
  • Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine (M.D.)
  • Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (Fellowship)
  • Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center (Residency)
  • Saint Louis University School of Medicine (Residency)

Awards and Certifications

  • American Board of Surgery
  • American College of Surgeons
  • Society of Black Academic Surgeons Leaders Institute
  • Finalist, AACR-ASCO Methods in Clinical Cancer Research

Dr. Fabian Johnston Has a Personal Approach to Medicine

Johnston takes great pride in his family-centric approach to medicine, going beyond the traditional clinical relationship when treating patients diagnosed with abdominal cancers.

“Cancer is a family disease. It affects not just the individual, but the family as a whole,” Johnston said. “As a patient, you’re part of my family, and we’re part of one team. You’re the quarterback. I’m the coach. And our job is to try and score a touchdown and beat this horrible disease.”

Johnston developed his family philosophy to treatment early in his career — much of it during his nine years as an assistant professor of surgery at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

When he joined Johns Hopkins in 2016 as an associate professor, he talked about moving closer to many members of his own extended family.

“We, in the medical field, often don’t address the other needs that cancer patients can have,” Johnston said. “We often talk about medical symptoms and disease, but not enough about how they are doing, the psycho-social aspects of care, the spiritual needs of a family. That’s part of my philosophy. I look forward to taking care of a patient and his family in my clinic.”

Publications of Dr. Fabian Johnston

  • Lee, T.C. et al. (2019, November). Readmissions After Cytoreductive Surgery and Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy: a US HIPEC Collaborative Study. Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery.
  • Johnson, F. & Beckman, M. (2019, July). Navigating difficult conversations. Journal of Surgical Oncology.
  • Johnston, F. & Beckman, M. (2019, June 24). Updates on Management of Gastric Cancer. Current Oncology Reports.