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Dr. Hossein Borghaei

Dr. Hossein Borghaei

Chief, Thoracic Medical Oncology

Hossein Borghaei, D.O., takes a patient-centric approach to cancer care, which means he plans a course of treatment not only according to his patients' unique cancer type, but also to their personal, social and family needs.

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About Hossein Borghaei

  • Pleural and Lung Cancer icon

    Pleural and Lung Cancer

  • Research Excellence icon

    Excellence in Research

  • Team Leader icon

    Team Leader

  • 10+ Years of Experience icon

    10+ Years of Experience

  • Immunotherapy icon


At Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, Borghaei is chief of thoracic medical oncology and director of the Fox Chase Lung Cancer Center. As a medical oncologist, he uses anti-cancer drugs to treat lung cancer, mesothelioma, lymphoma and other cancers of the chest.

Focus on Immunotherapy

In addition, Borghaei is an active researcher with a special interest in developing new cancer therapies, including immunotherapies that fight cancer by targeting unique proteins and genetic pathways in tumors.

Traditionally, doctors have extended the survival of mesothelioma and lung cancer patients by offering a multidisciplinary combination of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Unfortunately, cancer relapse after the first line of treatment can complicate therapy for many patients. Part of the problem is that cancer cells can grow resistant to chemotherapy drugs, making immunotherapy and other novel treatment options a valuable second line of defense.

Borghaei completed his medical training at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, graduating in 1996 with a Master of Science degree in microbiology and immunology. He served his residency at Graduate Hospital in Philadelphia and completed a fellowship in hematology-oncology at the Fox Chase Cancer Center before joining its staff full time in 2004.

In the laboratory, Borghaei strives to discover and perfect the latest immunotherapy cancer drugs, specifically monoclonal antibodies. Immune-based therapies like monoclonal antibodies help patients fight off cancer using their own immune systems. Clinical investigations into these treatments are highly enticing to Borghaei and other cancer researchers, as they can potentially be used to treat multiple types of cancer.

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Pleural Mesothelioma Clinical Trials

Borghaei has served the role of principal and supporting investigator in numerous clinical trials, which are medical studies that aim to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of new drugs and approaches to treatment. He is currently involved in an active phase II trial that evaluates how pleural mesothelioma patients without progressive disease after first-line chemotherapy benefit from maintenance therapy with Alimta.

His research team is also developing naptumomab estafenatox, a monoclonal antibody for lung and other cancers that activates the body’s immune cells to fight the cancer. In addition, Borghaei conducts clinical trials to improve patients’ immune response to cetuximab and other monoclonal antibodies, which increases their effectiveness.

Borghaei has authored and coauthored numerous scientific journal articles in his career, most focusing on the topic of immunotherapy for lung cancer and lymphoma. He also served as contributing author and panel member for Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma, a 2012 mesothelioma treatment guide published in the Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN).

Borghaei is a member of several professional medical organizations, including the American Society of Hematology, the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the American Association for Cancer Research.

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Disclaimer: Dr. Hossein Borghaei has no professional affiliation with

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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.

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4 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. Fox Chase Cancer Center. (n.d.). Hossein Borghaei, DO. Retrieved from:
  2. Fox Chase Cancer Center. (n.d.). Lung Cancer Patient Care Team. Retrieved from:
  3. Borghaei, H., Smith, M. and Campbell, K. (2009, October 20). Immunotherapy of Cancer. European Journal of Pharmacology. Retrieved from:
  4. National Cancer Institute. (n.d.). Pemetrexed Disodium or Observation in Treating Patients with Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma without Progressive Disease after First-Line Chemotherapy. Retrieved from:

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Last Modified August 2, 2020

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