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Joseph S. Friedberg, M.D.

Dr. Friedberg
Baltimore, MD

Dr. Joseph S. Friedberg

Head, Division of Thoracic Surgery

University of Maryland School of Medicine

655 West Baltimore Street, GREENE 5th Floor
Baltimore, MD 21201
(410) 328-6366

University of Pennsylvania College of Engineering and Applied Science

Harvard Medical School - 1986

Mass Genl Hospital

Brigham and Women’s Hospital


Dr. Joseph S. Friedberg is head of the Division of Thoracic Surgery at University of Maryland School of Medicine and is at the forefront of the search for treatments for lung cancer and pleural diseases, including mesothelioma. He also serves on the faculty of the University of Maryland School of Medicine as the Charles Reid Edwards Professor of Surgery. Prior to his current position, Dr. Friedberg served as chief of Thoracic Surgery at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center (part of the University of Pennsylvania Health System), was co-director of the Penn Mesothelioma and Pleural Disease Program, and was an associate professor of thoracic surgery at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine. Dr. Friedberg was recognized by Best Doctors in America for 2009-10 and 2011-12.

Educational Background

Dr. Friedberg received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania College of Engineering and Applied Science and received his M.D. from Harvard Medical School. He went on to complete a post-doctoral fellowship at Harvard, completed residencies at Massachusetts General Hospital and the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, and completed a fellowship in cardiothoracic surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Dr. Friedberg is board certified in general surgery and thoracic surgery.

Clinical and Laboratory Research

Dr. Friedberg’s clinical research is focused on making today’s mesothelioma treatments more effective; his laboratory works to develop new treatments that will be applicable to patient care immediately or will be applicable within five years. His current trials include the use of lasers and photodynamic therapy (PDT), a type of treatment that uses a drug, known as a “photosensitizer,” in combination with a specific type of light that interacts with the drug to kill cancer cells. Specifically, he is investigating the combination of surgery and intraoperative PDT on various types of lung cancer, including mesothelioma.

Other subjects of Dr. Friedberg’s research include the use of “rare earth nanophosphors” for use in diagnostic and therapeutic cancer applications; exploring a new treatment combination for mesothelioma that would combine PDT and novel chemotherapeutic agents; the development of an “artificial lung” for reversible lung failure; and the development of a system that would identify areas of the lungs that leak air at the time of surgery.

Additional Work

Dr. Friedberg is known to perform video thoracoscopic procedures for the treatment of chest diseases such as mesothelioma and is skilled in both open and minimally invasive approaches to cancer surgery. He is a member of numerous medical societies, including the American Association of Thoracic Surgeons, the American College of Chest Physicians and the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Relevant Publications

Yu GH, Soma L, Hahn S, Friedberg JS: Changing clinical course of patients with malignant mesothelioma: Implications for FNA cytology and utility of immunocytochemical staining. Diag Cytopathol 24(5): 322-327, May 2001.

Friedberg JS, Mick R, Stevenson J, Metz J, Zhu T, Buyske J, Sterman DH, Pass HI, Glatstein E, Hahn SM: A phase I study of Foscan-mediated photodynamic therapy and surgery in patients with mesothelioma. Ann Thorac Surg 75(3): 952-959, Mar. 2003.

Yom SS, Busch TM, Friedberg JS, Wileyto EP, Smith D, Glatstein E, Hahn SM: Elevated serum cytokine levels in mesothelioma patients who have undergone pleurectomy or extrapleural pneumonectomy and adjuvant intraoperative photodynamic therapy. Photochem Photobiol 78(1): 75-81, July 2003.

Singhal S, Wiewrodt R, Malden LD, Amin KM, Matzie K, Friedberg J, Kucharczuk JC, Litzky LA, Johnson SW, Kaiser LR, Albelda SM. Gene expression profiling of malignant mesothelioma. Clin Cancer Res 9(8): 3080-3097, Aug. 1, 2003.

Hahn SM. Smith RP. Friedberg J: Photodynamic therapy for mesothelioma. [Review] Curr Treatment Options Oncol 2(5): 375-383, Oct. 2001.

Krug L, Pass H, Rusch V, Bloss, Sugarbaker D, Friedberg JS, Vogelzang. A multicenter phase II trial of neo-adjuvant pemetrexed plus cisplatin followed by extrapleural pneumo-nectomy and radiation for pleural mesothelioma. American Association of Clinical Oncology Meeting 2005. Orlando, FL. May 2005 (scheduled).

Friedberg JS, Hahn S: Foscan-mediated photodynamic therapy and operation for malig-nant pleural mesothelioma. [Editorial] Ann Thorac Surg 78: 388-389, June 2004.

Friedberg JS, Rodriguez E, Baas P: Innovative therapies: Photodynamic therapy. Chap. 14 in Chest Surgery Clinics of North America (Topic – Mesothelioma). Philadelphia: Elsevier Science (USA), 2005 (in press).

Friedberg JS: Surgical management of malignant mesothelioma. Mastery of Cardiothoracic Surgery. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2005 (in press).



Joseph S. Friedberg, M.D. – Profile

Joseph S. Friedberg, M.D. – Profile

Joseph S. Friedberg, M.D. – Publications

Joseph S. Friedberg, M.D. – Thoracic Surgical Research

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