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Dr. Kemp Kernstine

Dr. Kemp Kernstine

Thoracic Surgeon

Dr. Kemp Kernstine is a renowned thoracic surgeon at the Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center at UT Southwestern, specializing in the treatment of various lung diseases, including malignant pleural mesothelioma.

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About Kemp Kernstine

  • Board Certified icon

    Board Certified in Thoracic and Cardiac Surgery

  • Pleural and Lung Cancer icon

    Pleural and Lung Cancer

  • Robotic Surgery icon

    Robotic Surgery

Get to Know Dr. Kemp Kernstine

Dr. Kemp Kernstine is a professor at UT Southwestern University and division chair of Thoracic Surgery, leading research efforts to improve the treatment of mesothelioma and other lung and esophageal malignancies.

He has extensive experience in pleurectomy and decortication and extrapleural pneumonectomy, the two most aggressive surgeries used with pleural mesothelioma.

Although Kernstine overseas the surgical management of the disease, he believes that future progress will involve major advances in the laboratory, where effective immunotherapy drug combinations are developing.

He worked previously at the University of Iowa hospitals and clinics and at the City of Hope National Medical Center in California.

Kernstine has done extensive work with robotic and other minimally invasive surgeries. He has been credited with performing several firsts in robotic chest surgery, including the world’s first robotic oncologic esophagectomy.

Robotic surgery allows patients to recover quicker and with less pain than with conventional surgeries. Although it has yet to significantly impact mesothelioma surgeries, it has advanced the treatment of other thoracic cancers.

Specialties of Dr. Kemp Kernstine

  • Pleural mesothelioma

  • Lung cancer

  • Esophageal cancer

  • Tracheal and bronchial tumors

  • Pericardial cancer

  • Robotic surgery

Dr. Kemp Kernstine Experience and Medical Education

  • UT Southwestern Medical Center

  • City of Hope National Medical Center

  • University of Iowa Hospital

  • Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School (Residency)

  • University of Minnesota (Fellowship)

  • Duke University Medical School, M.D.

Awards and Certifications for Dr. Kent Kernstine

  • Robert Tucker Hayes Foundation Distinguished Chair

  • Castle Connolly America’s Top Doctors

  • Castle Connolly America’s Top Doctors for Cancer

  • Brigham and Women’s Hospital Thoracic Alumnus of the Year

  • Willem J. Kolff Young Investigators Award

  • Board Certified in Thoracic Surgery

See More Top Mesothelioma Doctors

Publications of Dr. Kent Kernstine

  • Lehenbauer, D. and Kernstine, K. (2014, May 24). Robotic esophagectomy: modified McKeown approach. Thoracic Surgery Clinics.

  • Kernstine, K. et al. (2002, February). Can FDG-PET reduce the need for mediastinoscopy in potentially resectable nonsmall cell lung cancer? Annals of Thoracic Surgery.

  • Downey, R. et al. (2007, November). Video-Assisted Thoracic Surgery for Lung Cancer Resection: A Consensus Statement of the International Society of Minimally Invasive Cardiothoracic Surgery (ISMICS) 2007. Innovations.

Disclaimer: Dr. Kemp Kernstine has no professional affiliation with

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1 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. UT Southwestern Medical Center. Kemp Kernstine, M.D., Ph.D. Retrieved from:

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Last Modified October 15, 2020

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