Dr James Pingpank MD

Dr. James Pingpank

Surgical Oncologist

Address UPMC Hillman Cancer Center
5115 Centre Avenue
Pittsburgh PA, 15232

Who Is Dr. James Pingpank?

Dr. James Pingpank is a board-certified surgeon specializing in treating peritoneal mesothelioma and other gastrointestinal cancers.

Dr. Pingpank is a nationally recognized surgical oncologist. He is one of the leading experts in the treatment of peritoneal mesothelioma in the country.

He is known for using a combination of cytoreductive surgery and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC). These are used to treat cancer and improve the prognosis of mesothelioma patients.

Dr. Pingpank has more than 10 years of experience working with these procedures, as well as experience with other laparoscopic, minimally invasive, and robotic surgical techniques.

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How Dr. Pingpank Treats Mesothelioma

Dr. Pingpank believes in providing patients with a compassionate and seamless transition through the various stages of cancer care, from pre-operative through post-operative treatments.

He is best known for treating peritoneal mesothelioma using a combination of cytoreductive surgery with HIPEC.

  • Cytoreduction surgery removes all signs of cancer from a person’s abdominal area.
  • HIPEC is a form of heated chemotherapy that kills cancer cells in the abdomen.

When used together, these two methods have been shown to be effective for peritoneal mesothelioma. Patients can often live for 5 years or more following this treatment.

Dr. Pingpank specializes in the following treatments:

  • Cytoreduction surgery
  • Isolated hepatic perfusion with melphalan
  • Medical advice
  • Placement of hepatic arterial infusion pumps
  • Robotic surgical techniques

He can treat many other cancers as well, including liver cancer and colon cancer.

Dr. Pingpank’s Medical Background

Dr. Pingpank began his education with a bachelor’s degree from Amherst College in Massachusetts.

He attended the George Washington University School of Medicine for his medical degree.

To round out his medical education, he completed:

  • His surgical residency at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine
  • A research fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania
  • A surgical oncology fellowship at the Fox Chase Cancer Center

Dr. Pingpank began treating patients at the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center in 2008, where he is also an associate professor of surgery for the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

  • Work Experience

    Dr. Pingpank’s time at UPMC is spent training new doctors as a professor of surgery and as a cancer specialist and surgical oncologist.

    Dr. Pingpank collaborates closely with physicians at other UPMC campuses to help patients. He also frequently participates in clinical trials that aim to discover new treatments to address peritoneal mesothelioma and other gastrointestinal cancers.

    Dr. Pingpank boasts more than 20 years of experience in cancer treatment and research and is highly respected among his peers and patients.

Want to connect with Dr. Pingpank or another top mesothelioma doctor near you? Contact us to get started.

Highlights of Dr. Pingpank’s Medical Career

Dr. Pingpank has done much in the areas of cancer research and treatment through his more than 20-year career in both fields.

Awards and Accolades

Dr. Pingpank has received an abundance of local and national recognition for his work in cancer research and treatment work.

In 2023, Dr. Pingpank was recognized as a Castle Connelly Top Doctor in Surgical Oncology.

  • Some of his other awards and accolades include:

    • Patient’s Choice Award
    • Technology Transfer Award
    • American Cancer Society Distinguished Service Award
    • American College of Surgeons Outstanding Cancer Researcher Award
    • National Cancer Institute Director’s Award
    • The Vitals On-Time Doctor Award
    • Compassionate Doctor Recognition

Work Highlights

With several memberships and certifications in relevant organizations, Dr. Pingpank has established himself as an experienced and internationally recognized surgeon and cancer expert.

  • These memberships, affiliations, and roles include:

    • Certified by the American Board of Surgery
    • Director of Gastrointestinal Surgery Division at UPMC
    • Fellow of the American College of Surgeons
    • Member of the American Association for Cancer Research
    • Member of the American Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association
    • Member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology

Research and Published Works

Dr. Pingpank frequently participates in clinical research and has published more than 100 articles on cytoreduction, HIPEC, and many other medical topics.

  • Some of his recent publications include:

    • Choudry, M.H.A., et al. “Correction to: Postoperative Complications Independently Predict Cancer-Related Survival in Peritoneal Malignancies.” Published in Annals of Surgical Oncology, December 2019.
    • Kowalsky, S.J., et al. “Omission of Right Hemicolectomy May be Safe for Some Appendiceal Goblet Cell Adenocarcinomas: A Survival Analysis of the National Cancer Database.” Published in Annals of Surgical Oncology, December 2021.
    • Pakrafter, S., et al. “Institutional Experience with Ostomies Created During Cytoreductive Surgery and Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemoperfusion.” Published in Annals of Surgical Oncology, December 2017.
    • Rieser, C.J., et al. “Failure to Thrive Following Cytoreduction and Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy: Causes and Consequences.” Published in Annals of Surgical Oncology, April 2022.

Dr. Pingpank’s Contributions to the Medical Profession

Dr. Pingpank has earned himself the title of one of the leading doctors treating mesothelioma in the nation. His work has helped many peritoneal mesothelioma patients — which is important as this type of cancer is quite rare, with only a few hundred cases diagnosed per year.

With further research and more clinical trials headed by Dr. Pingpank and other specialists, mesothelioma patients can look forward to leading longer and better lives.

He has also been featured as a keynote speaker at various mesothelioma symposiums and conferences for the health sciences.

In March 2023, he met with the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation to discuss mesothelioma surgery and treatment at UPMC.

Connect With Dr. Pingpank

If you need help contacting Dr. Pingpank or any other leading mesothelioma doctors around the United States, connect with the Mesothelioma Veterans Center right now.

Our team advocates for veterans and anyone else currently fighting this cancer. We're committed to helping any way we can. To that end, our team can connect you with top doctors such as Dr. Pingpank, as well as military benefits and financial compensation.

Call (877) 450-8973 now to get started.

Veterans Support Team
Christopher Dryfoos PhotoWritten by:

Contributing Author

Christopher Dryfoos is a journalist and member of the American Medical Writers Association (AMWA). As the grandson of the U.S. Navy’s first forensic pathologist, he aims to help veterans with mesothelioma access needed care.

  1. Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation. "Peritoneal mesothelioma surgery and treatment at UMPC (Pittsburgh) w/ Dr. James Pingpank." Retrieved March 4, 2024, from https://www.curemeso.org/2023/03/08/peritoneal-mesothelioma-surgery-and-treatment-at-umpc-pittsburgh-w-dr-james-pingpank/
  2. National Cancer Institute. “Hyperthermia to Treat Cancer.” Retrieved March 4, 2024, from https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/types/hyperthermia
  3. National Library of Medicine: PubMed.gov. “Pingpank JF[Author]”. Retrieved March 4, 2024, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/?term=Pingpank%20JF%5BAuthor%5D
  4. U.S. News and World Report. “Dr. James F. Pingpank, MD.” Retrieved March 4, 2024, from https://health.usnews.com/doctors/james-pingpank-4407
  5. University of Pittsburgh. “James F. Pingpank Jr., MD, FACS.” Retrieved March 4, 2024, from: https://www.surgery.pitt.edu/people/james-f-pingpank-jr-md-facs