Dr. Hedy Lee Kindler

Dr. Hedy Lee Kindler

Thoracic Surgeon

Dr. Hedy Lee Kindler is one of the top doctors in the country treating mesothelioma. In her career, which has spanned over 20 years, she has performed extensive research on new treatments for mesothelioma and ways to make the current therapies better.

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About Dr. Hedy Lee Kindler

Dr. Hedy Lee Kindler works for the University of Chicago, where she is the Director of the Mesothelioma Program and the Director of Gastrointestinal Oncology.

She conducts and leads clinical trials and other forms of cancer research to:

  • Develop new therapies
  • Improve the current methods of treatment
  • Find a cure for mesothelioma one day

In addition to her work at the university, she is also an editor of BioOncology Watch and an associate editor of the academic journal Lung Cancer.

Because of her research and these editorial positions, Dr. Kindler is at the forefront of new and current knowledge about mesothelioma treatment and care.

On top of editing the journals, Dr. Kindler has also written many academic articles, book chapters, and review articles. She has also traveled around the world to give lectures and lead discussions at hundreds of scientific meetings because of her expertise in this area.

For all of her work as a doctor and researcher, Dr. Kindler is continuously named on the lists Best Doctors in America, America’s Top Doctors for Cancer, and Top Doctors in Chicago.

The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) has awarded her the Selikoff Lifetime Achievement Award for her dedication to mesothelioma research.


Dr. Kindler received her medical degree from the State University of New York, Buffalo in 1989.

She went to the Los Angeles Medical Center — part of the University of California — to complete her first internal medicine residency. She then completed a second residency at Montefiore Medical Center at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

After completing her two residencies, she studied oncology and hematology as part of her fellowship at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

As a doctor, Dr. Kindler has maintained memberships in several different organizations including:

  • Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology
  • American Association for Cancer Research
  • American Society of Clinical Oncology
  • International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer
  • International Mesothelioma Interest Group
  • Mesothelioma Foundation

Dr. Kindler plays an active role in these organizations. She is a past-president of the International Mesothelioma Interest Group, and she has been off the board and several different committees for the other societies and foundations.

Medical Specializations

Dr. Kindler focuses on treating malignant pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma.

While there are many different treatment types, the procedures are more effective when they are conducted alongside complementary therapies.

This is why she meets with other medical professionals, like radiologists, nurses, and immunologists weekly to review the cases of the patients under their care. She makes sure that all patient treatment plans are unified and tailored to each individual’s situation.

Pleurectomy and Decortication (P/D)

Dr. Kindler has conducted several studies on using pleurectomy and decortication (P/D) to treat pleural mesothelioma. In P/D, the surgeons remove the diseased pleura — the lining surrounding the lungs (pleurectomy) — and any surrounding tumors (decortication).

In her research, she discovered that the P/D is beneficial. She found that while the patient’s quality of life worsened in the month following the procedure, it did improve afterward.

In one of her studies, she looked at the patients’ quality of life before the surgery and then four more times between 1 and 11 months post-surgery.

Her study also showed that patients’ health-related quality of life improved after receiving P/D.

Furthermore, she noticed that the patients whose quality of life improved the most were also the ones who had the worst symptoms before undergoing surgery.

Targeted Therapy

Another area of research that Dr. Kindler focuses on is targeted therapy.

In targeted therapy, the tumor stops growing or is slowed down by drugs. These drugs focus on specific molecules that help the cancer cells grow or multiply.

One of the benefits of targeted therapy is that the drugs only attack the cancerous cells and leave the surrounding healthy tissues alone. This means that patients recover quicker because their bodies don’t also need to heal from damaged healthy cells.

Did You Know?

Unlike chemotherapy — which kills the cancer cells, as well as other normal cells that divide rapidly (such as hair cells) —  targeted therapies focus specifically on stopping cancer cells from reproducing.

One type of targeted therapy that she focuses on is using therapeutic drugs such as Bevacizumab and Gemcitabine to interrupt cell signal pathways.

These drugs have shown signs of stopping tumor growth by interrupting cell signal pathways.

The long-term results have not been as positive as the researchers had initially hoped. There is a need for further research in this area because it suggests that reducing signal pathways may be the way to cure mesothelioma.


Dr. Kindler’s clinic is currently participating in a phase 1 clinical trial for the cancer vaccine CRS-207, which is a form of immunotherapy.

In immunotherapy, a patient is given drugs or other substances that help the body’s immune system recognize cancer cells as harmful. Once the body’s immune system knows which cells to target, immunotherapy helps the body’s immune system kill the cancerous cells.

In this study, patients will receive 2 doses of the vaccine with or without cyclophosphamide (which stimulates even more response from the immune system) and then a standard regimen of chemotherapy.

After chemotherapy, the patients will receive an additional 2 rounds of the vaccine.

CRS-207 is a genetically-modified weakened form of the Listeria bacterium. The bacterium has been altered to cause the body’s immune system to react to mesothelin (a tumor-associated antigen) to help the body fight off the disease itself.

Getting Specialized Mesothelioma Treatment

Dr. Kindler works with more than 100 patients each year and many of these individuals have mesothelioma. Because she lost her father to mesothelioma in 2001, she truly understands what her patients are going through.

If you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma, it’s important to undergo treatment administered by specialists like Dr. Kindler.

For more information on seeing a specialist and qualifying for compensation to cover treatment costs, contact the Justice Support Team today.

Call us at (888) 360-4215 or request our Mesothelioma Justice Guide for more helpful information.

Mesothelioma Support Team
Stephanie KiddWritten by:


Stephanie Kidd grew up in a family of civil servants, blue-collar workers, and medical caregivers. Upon graduating Summa Cum Laude from Stetson University, she began her career specializing in worker safety regulations and communications. Now, a proud member of the American Medical Writers Association (AMWA) and Editor-in-Chief of the Mesothelioma Cancer Network, Stephanie serves as a voice for mesothelioma victims and their families.

View 5 Sources
  1. ClinicalTrials.gov. "Safety and Efficacy of Listeria in Combination with Chemotherapy as Front-line Treatment for Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma." Retrieved from: https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01675765. Accessed June 28, 2018.
  2. Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation. "Focus on Mesothelioma Centers of Excellence: Hedy Lee Kindler, MD University of Chicago Medicine." Retrieved from: http://www.curemeso.org/site/c.duIWJfNQKiL8G/b.9274799/k.AFE/Focus_on_Mesothelioma_Centers_of_Excellence_Hedy_Lee_Kindler_MD_University_of_Chicago_Medicine.htm. Accessed June 28, 2018.
  3. National Cancer Institute. "Targeted Cancer Therapies." Retrieved from: https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/mesothelioma-treatment/types/targeted-therapies/targeted-therapies-fact-sheet#q1. Accessed June 28, 2018.
  4. U Chicago Medicine. "Hedy Lee Kindler, MD." Retrieved from: http://www.uchospitals.edu/physicians/hedy-kindler.html. Accessed June 25, 2018.
  5. U.S. News. "Dr. Hedy Kindler, MD." Retrieved from: https://health.usnews.com/doctors/hedy-kindler-8702. Accessed June 25, 2018
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