Dr. James Donahue, Assistant Professor of Surgery

James Donahue M.D.

Assistant Professor of Surgery

About James Donahue

James M. Donahue, M.D., is a thoracic surgeon at the University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center, a hospital that helped pioneer a growing and successful multi-disciplinary approach to the treatment of mesothelioma.

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Pleural and Lung Cancer

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Board Certified in Surgery

Donahue is board certified in General Surgery and specializes in surgical procedures for lung cancer, esophageal cancer, chest wall tumors and malignant mesothelioma. He is joined by Richard Battafarano, M.D., and Whitney Burrows, M.D., on the thoracic surgery team at Greenebaum.

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James Donahue M.D.


Thoracic Surgery

Medical Treatment Center

University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center


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The Cancer Center at the University of Maryland has been a leader in fine tuning a tri-modality therapy that includes surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. While there is no cure for mesothelioma, which is caused by an exposure to asbestos, this three-pronged approach has led to considerable improvement in successful, long-term results.

Multidisciplinary Approach

Greenebaum’s multidisciplinary care program gives the patients access to medical experts from the different fields in one visit, eliminating often time-consuming return visits. The coordination between the disciplines is what makes Donahue’s role Рand Greenbaum’s approach Рunique for patients who are considering various treatment options. It assures the patient is getting the best possible care.

Donahue also has been lauded for his expertise in treating lung cancer. He was a featured speaker at the annual Thoracic Diseases Multidisciplinary Conference sponsored by the University of Maryland. His presentation was titled “The Role of Anatomic Segmental Lung Resection in the Treatment of Stage I Lung Cancers.”

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He also has expertise in esophageal cancer, gastroesophageal reflux disease, Barrett’s esophagus, and esophageal motility disorders.

After he earned his medical degree from Harvard, Donahue did a surgical residency at Massachusetts General Hospital. He followed that by going to the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine, where he served a cardiothoracic surgical residency.

Research and Collaboration

He was the lead author in a study on anatomic segmentectomy in stage I lung cancer patients with T1a tumors. The study was published in Annals of Thoracic Surgery in 2012, and detailed patients with preoperative reduced lung function, showing five-year survival rate of 79 percent.

He has played a significant role in the prominence gained by the Greenebaum Center, which was ranked No. 21 out of 900 facilities in a U.S. News & World Report study of America’s Best Hospitals. Donahue has been part of the minimally invasive therapy philosophy that has become part of Greenebaum. The theory is fewer complications and shorter hospital stays.

Donahue meets at least twice each week with other thoracic oncologists at Greenebaum to collaborate on treatment plans for each individual patients. He is also is an Assistant Professor of Surgery at the University of Maryland.

Disclaimer: Dr. James Donahue 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
  1. University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center. (2012). Thoracic Oncology. Retrieved from: http://www.umgcc.org/thoracic_program/phys_staff.htm
  2. Donahue, JM.; Morse, JR; Wigle, DA; Allen, MS; Nichols, FC; Shen, KR; Deschamps, C; Cassivi, SD. (2012, Feb.) Oncologic Efficacy of Anatomic Segmentectomy in Stage IA Lung Cancer Patients with T1A Tumors. Annals of Thoracic Surgery. Retrieved from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22209375?dopt=Abstract
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