Quick Facts
  • Primary Location:
    Masonic Cancer Center – University of Minnesota
  • Expertise:
    Gene Therapy
    HIPEC
  • Speciality:
    Oncology
  • Gender:
    Male
  • Language:
    English
  • Med School:
    University of Washington School of Medicine

Get to Know Dr. Robert Kratzke 

During his career as a medical oncologist, Dr. Robert Kratzke has focused on both lung cancer and mesothelioma research. He has been involved in numerous clinical trials testing the latest mesothelioma treatment options, stressing the importance of multimodal therapy.

Kratzke moved to Minnesota in 1999 when he joined the Minneapolis VA Medical Center. In 2004, he became the first holder of the prestigious John Skoglund Chair in Lung Cancer Studies at the University of Minnesota. He previously worked at the National Cancer Institute.

Some of his latest research centers on molecular abnormalities in both lung cancer and mesothelioma. His studies focus on cell cycle regulator genes and their loss of function in thoracic cancers. His laboratory also recently finished a project in developing molecular assays for micrometastatic disease.

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Kratzke has done considerable work in the area of targeted gene replacement therapy. Gene therapy involves genetically altering a virus to carry and spread a normal gene rather than a mutated one.

He performed considerable research on determining the efficacy of heated chemotherapy for peritoneal mesothelioma patients. The therapy, also known as HIPEC, involves the circulation of a hot chemotherapy solution throughout the peritoneal cavity to kill remaining cancer cells after surgery.

Without research, there won’t be any significant progress with mesothelioma. And research costs a lot of money. That’s why research funding is so critical to what we are trying to do.
Dr. Kratzke
Dr. Robert Kratzke speaking at the International Symposium on Malignant Mesothelioma in 2008.
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Specialties of Dr. Robert Kratzke

  • Pleural and lung cancer
  • Gene therapy
  • Heated chemotherapy

Dr. Robert Kratzke’s Experience and Medical Education

  • University of Minnesota
  • Minneapolis VA Medical Center
  • National Cancer Institute (Fellowship)
  • University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics (Fellowship)
  • McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research (Fellowship)
  • University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health (Residency)
  • University of Washington School of Medicine (M.D.)
  • Cancer and Leukemia Group B Respiratory Committee (Vice-chair)
  • Respiratory Committee (Vice-chair)
  • Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation Science Advisory Board (Member)
  • American College of Physicians (Fellow)

Awards and Certifications

  • Outstanding Academic Mentor, University of Minnesota (2007)
  • Mentor of the Year, Hematology, Oncology and Transplant Division, University of Minnesota (2006-2007)
  • John Skoglund Chair in Lung Cancer Research (2004)
  • American Society of Clinical Oncology (Member)
  • American Federation for Medical Research (Member)

Mesothelioma Clinical Trials Under Robert Kratzke, M.D.

  • Efficacy and safety of rAd-IFN administered with celecoxib and gemcitabine in patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma.
  • Biomarkers of angiogenesis and disease in patients with unresectable malignant mesothelioma treated on clinical trial CALGB-30107.

Publications of Dr. Robert Kratzke

  • Jacobson, B.A. et al. (2020, November 23). 4Ei-10 interdiction of oncogenic cap-mediated translation as therapy for non-small cell lung cancer. Preclinical Studies.
  • Dudek, A.Z. et al. (2020, November 1). Randomized Study of Maintenance Pemetrexed Versus Observation for Treatment of Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma: CALGB 30901. Clinical Lung Cancer.  
  • Gauthier, M.P. et al. (2020, May 25). Role of the total mutation burden (TMB) and tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) on the development of second primary cancer after complete resection of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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