Quick Facts
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    Pleural and Lung Cancer
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    Medical Oncology
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    Primary Location:
    Stanford Cancer Institute

Get to Know Dr. Heather Wakelee

Dr. Heather Wakelee is a professor of medicine at Stanford University in the Division of Thoracic Oncology and a lead investigator for the ECOG-ACRIN clinical trials group at the Stanford Cancer Institute.

She has studied, written and spoken extensively on mesothelioma treatment and non-small cell lung cancer; on why female lung cancer patients survive longer; on sex differences in susceptibility, biology and therapeutic responses to lung cancer; and novel cytotoxic agents in lung cancer. She also specializes in the treatment of pleural mesothelioma with oncology drugs such as chemotherapy.

Wakelee often tells her patients that chemotherapy is not for everyone, but that undergoing it usually improves their chances of avoiding cancer again by 5% to 10%.

“When I talk with [patients] about what we can do to improve cure rates, the only thing that we know that has an impact is chemotherapy, and it’s not an easy chemotherapy,” Wakelee said. “Most people can get through it, but it’s challenging.”

Wakelee earned her medical degree at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Her residency was through the Stanford University Internal Medicine Program, and her fellowship was at Stanford University’s Division of Oncology.

Specialties of Dr. Heather Wakelee

  • Pleural and lung cancer
  • Research
  • Internal medicine
Mesothelioma specialist speaking with a patient and his wife
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Dr. Heather Wakelee’s Experience and Medical Education

  • Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (M.D.)
  • Stanford University Internal Medicine Program (Residency)
  • Stanford University Division of Oncology (Fellowship)

Awards and Certifications

  • Young Investigator Award, ECOG-ACRIN (2015)
  • Teaching Award, Stanford University Division of Oncology (2007-2009 and 2011)
  • Merit Award, American Society of Clinical Oncology (2003)
  • Alpha Omega Alpha, Johns Hopkins University (1996)
  • Board certified in internal medicine

Publications of Dr. Heather Wakelee

  • Garassino, M.C. et al. (2020, July 1). COVID-19 in patients with thoracic malignancies (TERAVOLT): first results of an international, registry-based, cohort study. The Lancet Oncology.
  • Whisenant, J.G. et al. (2020, June 8). TERAVOLT: Thoracic Cancers International COVID-19 Collaboration. Cancer Cell.
  • Chabon, J.J. et al. (2020, March 25). Integrating genomic features for non-invasive early lung cancer detection. Nature.