Dr. Harvey Pass, Director of Thoracic Surgery

Harvey Pass M.D.

Director of Thoracic Surgery

About Harvey Pass

Harvey Pass, M.D., has entered his fourth decade of contributing to the fight against mesothelioma.

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Pleural and Lung Cancer

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Top Doctor

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Excellence in Research

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Mesothelioma Pioneer

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Team Leader

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40+ Years of Experience

Pass moved his base of operations from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in Bethesda, Maryland, to the Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit, to his current home at the Bellevue Hospital Center in New York City. But his focus has remained the same. At each stop he has studied mesothelioma cancer, looking for answers, raising awareness, treating patients, extending lives – offering hope where once there was none.

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Harvey Pass M.D.


Cardiothoracic Surgery

Medical Treatment Center

NYU Langone Medical Center


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He is currently the director of the Thoracic Surgery Division at New York University (NYU) Medical Center, leading its Early Detection Research Network Biomarker Discovery Laboratory for Mesothelioma funded by NCI. He also oversees the NCI-funded Mesothelioma Pathogenesis Program Project.

Since being recruited to NYU, he has been credited with solidifying its thoracic fellowship training program, bringing considerable recognition with his reputation.

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A Pioneer

While at the NCI from 1986-96, Pass was among the first to study the use of intraoperative photodynamic therapy (PDT) for thoracic cancers and treatment of pleural mesothelioma, and he explored the post-surgery use of adjuvant immunochemotherapy for treating the cancer. He also initiated continuing collaborative studies with doctors Michele Carbone, M.D., and Renato Baserga, M.D., after being one of the first to establish “organized, prospective tissue archives” – providing “accurate matching demographics” that broke new ground in the exploration of this asbestos-related cancer.

Quick Fact

Dr. Pass served as the vice chairman of the medical advisory board for pharmaceutical innovators Rosetta Genomics, Ltd.

From 1996-2005, Pass and his colleagues at the Karmanos Cancer Center of Wayne State University completed a key study in which they identified the protein osteopontin and its high levels in patients with pleural mesothelioma. That study has helped physicians screen individuals with a history of asbestos exposure in hopes of early detection and more successful treatments.

Pass was also part of the group that helped start the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (MARF) in 1998. He published extensively on angiogenic mechanisms in the cancer and edited the books “100 Questions & Answers about Mesothelioma,” and “Malignant Mesothelioma: Advances in Pathogenesis, Diagnosis and Translational Therapies.”

An Advocate for Raising Awareness of Asbestos-Related Diseases

Throughout his career, Pass has lobbied for people with asbestos-related cancers, constantly warning about the dangers of asbestos exposure, the primary cause of this disease. He has helped raise awareness of mesothelioma and lung cancer. To this extent he serves as a board member for the Lung Cancer Alliance and is chairs the Scientific Advisory Board for the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation.


Since 2002, Pass has authored or coauthored 72 articles directly related to mesothelioma treatment. Articles have included “Malignant Mesothelioma: Facts, myths and hypotheses.””Surgery and Mesothelioma” and “The Relationship between simian virus 40 and mesothelioma.”

Disclaimer: Dr. Harvey Pass has no professional affiliation with Asbestos.com.

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Tim Povtak, Senior Content Writer at Asbestos.com

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. Read More

Last Modified March 1, 2018
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