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Dr. Nabil Wasif

Dr. Nabil Wasif

Surgical Oncologist

Dr. Nabil Wasif specializes in treating patients with malignant peritoneal mesothelioma and other abdominal cancers at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, Arizona.

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About Nabil Wasif

  • Peritoneal Mesothelioma icon

    Peritoneal Mesothelioma

  • Heated Chemotherapy icon

    Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy

  • Team Leader icon

    Team Leader

  • Board Certified icon

    Board Certified in Surgery

Wasif is an expert in treating abdominal cancers with a combination of cytroreductive surgery and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemoperfusion, also known as HIPEC.

The treatment combination has been responsible for the dramatic improvement in survival times for patients with peritoneal mesothelioma.

HIPEC involves delivering a high-dose, heated chemotherapy solution directly into the abdominal cavity immediately following a cytoreduction. The abdomen is bathed in the solution for up to 90 minutes in an effort to kill any microscopic cancer cells left behind after surgery.

“HIPEC offers a vast improvement over systemic chemotherapy, which for many patients is essentially palliative due to the spread of their cancer,” Wasif said. “Research has shown that, in carefully selected patients … HIPEC can significantly increase the survival rate.”

One recent study showed a median survival time of 6.65 years for patients who underwent the surgery/HIPEC combination. In that same study, 30% of the patients lived for 10 years or more after treatment.

Wasif estimated the procedure can send cancer into remission for 25-30% of patients eligible for this mesothelioma treatment. He uses it with peritoneal mesothelioma and certain kinds of ovarian, colon and appendix cancers.

Wasif also treats patients with pancreatic cancer, gastric cancer, melanoma, retro-peritoneal sarcoma and stomach cancer.

Leader in Cancer Treatment Research

Wasif serves as the director of the General Surgery Residency Program at the Mayo Clinic. Outside of his clinical responsibilities, he does considerable database research to find ways to streamline the effectiveness of local cancer care.

He has published studies on gastrointestinal tract, pancreas and breast cancer. He published another on the overuse of diagnostic imaging for melanoma and the associated cost implications.

Wasif joined the Mayo Clinic in 2009 after completing a surgical oncology fellowship at the John Wayne Cancer Institute in Los Angeles. He completed residency training at the New York Presbyterian Hospital.

He graduated from Aga Khan University Medical School in Pakistan and also earned a Masters of Public Health in Quantitative Methods from the Harvard School of Public Health.

Disclaimer: Dr. Nabil Wasif 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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2 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. Weiss, C. (2018, November 13). Alternative chemotherapy offers hope for late-stage cancers.
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  2. Mayo Clinic. (n.d.). Nabil Wasif, M.D. Retrieved from:

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Last Modified August 7, 2020

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