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Dr. Giorgos Karakousis, peritoneal mesothelioma surgeon

Dr. Giorgos Karakousis

Assistant Professor of Surgery

Dr. Giorgos C. Karakousis is one of the youngest surgeons at the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He has already been recognized for his work in peritoneal mesothelioma treatment.

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About Giorgos Karakousis

  • Peritoneal Mesothelioma icon

    Peritoneal Mesothelioma

  • Research Excellence icon

    Excellence in Research

  • Heated Chemotherapy icon

    Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy

  • Board Certified icon

    Board Certified in Surgery

Karakousis, 37, received his General Surgery Board Certification in 2008. He was appointed assistant professor of surgery in 2010, joining both the Melanoma and Gastrointestinal cancer programs, focusing on the mesothelioma group at Penn Medicine.

Karakousis selected peritoneal mesothelioma as a specialty, the rare cancer that attacks the lining of the abdominal cavity and represents only 15-20 percent of all mesothelioma cases.

His early work earned him the honor to present at the 2010 Focus on Mesothelioma Conference at Penn Medicine, where physicians, researchers and patients from around the country annually gather to learn more about this little-known disease with no cure.

Peritoneal Mesothelioma Specialization

“Diffuse Malignant Peritoneal Mesothelioma: Cytoreductive Surgery and HIPEC,” was the title of his presentation, allowing him to talk about a treatment plan he studied extensively.” There have been good, long-term outcomes for patients with this disease,” he said.

The cytoreductive surgery he talked about removes all visible tumors around the peritoneal cavity. The hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy is delivered directly into the abdomen, hitting the cancer cells that may have been missed. It allows high-dose, heated chemotherapy instead of the traditional systemic method, making it more effective.

According to Karakousis’ presentation, there are only 300-400 cases annually of diffuse malignant peritoneal mesothelioma in the United States, with a slight male predominance and a mean age of 50.

Quick Fact:

Dr. Karakousis did his fellowship in surgical oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

New research is revealing genetic markers that can serve as prognostic factors and help to direct novel and targeted therapies.

Karakousis already has delivered similar presentations at Penn Medicine on other topics, at different conventions, reflecting the versatility he has shown as a young surgeon.

There was “Malignant Melanoma Advances in Surgery: What You Need to Know,” and “Surgical Management of Neuroendocrine Tumors of the Gastrointestinal Tract.”

Despite his young surgical career, Karakousis has been part of the Penn Medicine family for years. After his undergraduate work at Yale University, he attended the University of Pennsylvania Medical School. He did his general surgery residency training and research fellowship at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

In 2006, he won the Inouye Award for Teaching by a Resident at Pennsylvania. Early in 2010, he was appointed Attending Surgeon at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

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Disclaimer: Dr. Giorgos Karakousis has no professional affiliation with

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Senior Content Writer

Tim Povtak is an award-winning writer with more than 30 years of reporting national and international news. His specialty is interviewing top mesothelioma specialists and researchers, reporting the latest news at mesothelioma cancer centers and talking with survivors and caregivers.

Walter Pacheco, Managing Editor at
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3 Cited Article Sources

The sources on all content featured in The Mesothelioma Center at include medical and scientific studies, peer-reviewed studies and other research documents from reputable organizations.

  1. Karakousis, G.C. (n.d.). Diffuse Malignant Peritoneal Mesothelioma: Cytoreductive Surgery and HIPEC. Retrieved from:
  2. Karakousis, G.C. (2011). Malignant Melanoma Advances in Surgery: What You Need to Know. Retrieved from:
  3. Penn Medicine Faculty Profile. (n.d.) Giorgos C. Karakousis, M.D. Retrieved from:

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Last Modified December 5, 2019

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