Dr. Hedy Lee Kindler

Quick Summary

Dr. Hedy Lee Kindler leads the mesothelioma program at the University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center, one of the world’s top cancer treatment centers.

Dr. Kindler knows all too well the devastating potential of mesothelioma, losing her father to the cancer in 2001. This experience ignited her passion for mesothelioma research and she has since become a leading peritoneal and pleural mesothelioma specialist.

“Mesothelioma isn’t lung cancer. To understand the subtleties of it, you need an expert. Especially at the beginning, it’s important to have someone who is comfortable with the disease, a quarterback who understands all the options out there.”

Dr. Kindler sees more than 100 mesothelioma patients per year, many of whom travel across the country to work with her.

Dr. Kindler’s Location

Mesothelioma patients interested in working with Dr. Kindler can reach her at:

The University of Chicago Medicine

5841 S. Maryland Avenue, MC 2115

Chicago, IL 60637

(773) 702-1470

Dr. Kindler’s Career Highlights

Dr. Kindler’s career accomplishments include:

  • Top cancer researcher who focuses on novel treatments for advanced stage pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma
  • Frequently awarded America’s Top Doctors and Best Doctors in America
  • Leads the Mesothelioma Program at University of Chicago Medical
  • Associate editor of Lung Cancer, and editor of BioOncology Watch

Dr. Kindler’s Background

Dr. Hedy Kindler began her medical education at the State University of New York Buffalo, where she received her MD in 1989. She then completed Internal Medicine residencies at both UCLA Medical Center and Montefiore Medical Center, also known as the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

Background Update

Dr. Kindler became a fellow at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in 1995, where she studied oncology and hematology in great depth. She is now Director of the Mesothelioma Program as well as Director of Gastrointestinal Oncology at the University of Chicago.


Dr. Kindler is a member of several mesothelioma research organizations, including:

  • Chair – Mesothelioma Subcommittee of the Cancer and Leukemia Group B
  • Member – Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation
  • Member – International Mesothelioma Interest Group
  • Former President – International Mesothelioma Interest Group
  • Member – International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer
  • Member – American Society of Clinical Oncology
  • Member – American Association for Cancer Research

Medical Specializations

Dr. Kindler is a board-certified oncologist who has devoted her career to fighting malignant mesothelioma, as well as gastrointestinal and pancreatic tumors. She is director of the mesothelioma program at the University of Chicago’s Cancer Center and her clinical interests include malignant mesothelioma, colorectal cancer, and pancreatic cancer.

Dr. Kindler’s specializes in cancer research that focuses on the treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma, investigating both drug therapies and surgical techniques. She has spent time attempting to improve many areas of treatment, including signal pathway interruption, immunotherapy, and targeted drugs.

In recent years, Dr. Kindler has conducted several studies into the effectiveness of pleurectomy and decortication (P/D) in treating mesothelioma, as well as the surgery’s impact on overall quality of life. Her research typically finds that a P/D is beneficial for the patients who receive this surgical procedure.

Dr. Kindler’s Career Accomplishments

Dr. Kindler is an accomplished researcher who has helped the world better understand mesothelioma and how to treat it. She has done extensive research into various drug and has contributed to the development of new therapies through clinical trials.

Dr. Kindler has been one of the leaders in the movement researching drugs, like Bevacizumab and Gemcitabine, that can potentially interrupt the cell signal pathways, preventing cancer cells from growing. While the long-term results have been disappointing so far, signal pathway reduction is an area of scientific research that very well may cure mesothelioma in the future.

Dr. Kindler has also made significant contributions to the IASCL Mesothelioma Staging Project, which is an international collaborative project that attempts to better classify and predict the outcomes of mesothelioma subtypes.

In addition, Dr. Kindler helps over 100 patients every year, many of which have mesothelioma.

Awards & Honours

  • Selikoff Lifetime Achievement Award –  Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization
  • Mimi Ashton/ALCASE Award for Outstanding Patient Care
  • America’s Top Doctors For Cancer
  • America’s Top Doctors
  • Chicago Magazine: Top Doctors
  • SuperDoc
  • CMS Stage 1 EHR

Dr. Kindler’s Current Work

Dr. Kindler is currently Director of the Mesothelioma Program at the University of Chicago, where she has dedicated her career to patient care, cancer research and clinical trials. She is passionate about finding new, more effective treatments for peritoneal and pleural mesothelioma, dedicating herself fully towards the cause.

“The Mesothelioma Program at the University of Chicago is really one of the largest in the country. We focus on both pleural and peritoneal meso.”

Dr. Kindler has led numerous clinical trials and has published her findings in nearly a hundred medical journals. She has helped shape the medical community’s understanding of the disease and continues to share new discoveries regularly. Her ongoing work continues to evaluate drug and surgical treatment options for pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma patients through clinical trials, in hopes of improving patient outcomes and eventually finding a cure.

“So, what about hope for the future? How can we continue to make progress against this disease? Key is to understand the biology of mesothelioma, which will require more funding and lobbying for basic science research.”

Dr. Kindler believes in investing in learning about new biomarkers and developing new ones for early disease detection. She feels that this way, mesothelioma will move towards becoming a curable disease. She’s also a proponent of learning how to classify tumors through staging, which is an international, ongoing project. She also believe in integrating developments in chemotherapy and radiation into surgical approaches, including using better chemo drugs.

While it may seem a tall task, Dr. Kindler is extraordinarily ambitious and actively works towards all of the above.

Notable Work by Dr. Kindler

“Influence of Pleurectomy and Decortication in Health-Related Quality of Life Among Patients with Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma”

Dr. Kindler has been involved with numerous studies that test the safety, efficiency, and outcomes of pleurectomy and decortication (P/D) for patients with pleural mesothelioma. One particular study reviewed patients’ health-related quality of life before surgery, and then at 1, 4 to 5, 7 to 8 and 10 to 11 months after surgery.

The objective was to determine whether P/D is a worthwhile surgery, as many medical professions are worried the lengthy surgical procedure outweighs the benefits. The study concluded that health-related quality of life did worsen for most patients one month after the procedure, but that quality of life subsequently improved. In addition, the worse patients’ symptoms were before surgery, the better their quality of life improvements afterward.

Dr. Kindler’s Healing Philosophy

Dr. Kindler recognizes the value of a multidisciplinary approach to mesothelioma treatment. She works alongside her surgical counterparts to review and assess patients, including pathologists, radiologists, nurses, and other critical members of the mesothelioma team.

“It’s a whole process that we do, and we do it as part of our multidisciplinary group that meets each week so that we can review patients together and try to come up with a unified treatment plan.”

Patients interested in working with Dr. Kindler can contact her at the University of Chicago’s Mesothelioma Program.

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Author

Sources
  1. UChicago Medicine. “Hedy Lee Kindler, MD.” Retrieved from http://www.uchospitals.edu/physicians/hedy-kindler.html. Accessed on November 16th, 2017.
  2. U.S. Health News. “Dr. Hedy Kindler, MD.” Retrieved from https://health.usnews.com/doctors/hedy-kindler-8702. Accessed on November 16th, 2017.
  3. The University of Chicago. “Department of Medicine Faculty: Hedy Kindler.” Retrieved from http://med-spportal01.bsd.uchicago.edu/FacultyPro/faculty_profile.aspx?empl_id=6168. Accessed on November 16th, 2017.
  4. University of Chicago Profiles. “Hedy Kindler.” Retrieved from https://profiles.uchicago.edu/profiles/display/38348. Accessed on November 16th, 2017.
  5. YouTube. “2010 ADAO AAC: Dr. Hedy Kindler, Malignant Mesothelioma.” Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4DBXiC2Kh2I. Accessed on November 16th, 2017.
  6. Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation. “Focus on Mesothelioma Centers of Excellence: Hedy Lee Kindler, MD, University of Chicago Medicine.” Retrieved from https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/curemeso/episodes/2015-04-27T13_39_58-07_00. Accessed on November 16th, 2017.

Last modified: May 7, 2018