Dr. Joel Baumgartner specializes in treating peritoneal mesothelioma using cytoreduction and heated intraoperative chemotherapy (HIPEC) at the only major HIPEC center on the West Coast.

About Dr. Baumgartner

Before coming to UC San Diego Health, Dr. Baumgartner spent two years working and training at the University of Pittsburgh, one of the highest volume HIPEC centers in the world. He has had years of experience performing this procedure on many patients.

  • Medical Degree and Residencies

    M.D., Indiana University, Bloomington, IN. Dr. Baumgartner completed his residency at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Denver and a fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

  • Professorship

    Assistant professor of surgery at the University of California San Diego and surgical oncologist at the Moores Cancer Center.

Dr. Baumgartner joined the staff at the Moores Cancer Center in 2012. Moores is part of the University of California San Diego Health System, and houses the only major HIPEC center on the West Coast.

Services at Moores Cancer Center were ranked among the top 50 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report in its 2011-12 Best Hospitals survey. The Moores Cancer Center was the only hospital in San Diego to be featured in Becker’s Hospital Review list of 70 Hospitals and Health Systems with Great Oncology Programs. Dr. Baumgartner has been an asset in helping rank the hospital as one of the top peritoneal mesothelioma cancer centers in the nation.

Dr. Baumgartner’s Accomplishments

  • One of the most innovative young surgeons in America
  • Part of a team of top researchers developing new therapies for mesothelioma
  • Worked and trained at one of the highest volume HIPEC centers in the world

Get Connected To Dr. Joel Baumgartner

Photograph of Dr Baumgartner
Dr. Baumgartner is an expert on treating peritoneal mesothelioma using cytoreductive surgery and HIPEC. He worked and trained at the University of Pittsburgh, one of the busiest and most experienced HIPEC centers in the world, before coming to Moores. Moores Cancer Center is the only HIPEC center on the West Coast, and is one of the world’s busiest centers as well.

Why Choose Dr. Baumgartner?
  • Got his start at one of the world’s most experienced HIPEC centers
  • Part of the largest HIPEC center in the West Coast
  • Performed more HIPEC surgeries than many other physicians




Joining the Largest HIPEC Center in the West

Dr. Baumgartner has a strong clinical interest in improving the management of peritoneal mesothelioma with HIPEC. He has also been a part of clinical trials testing novel immunotherapy drugs.

As a member of the medical team at Moores Cancer Center, Dr. Baumgartner is participating in a UC San Diego clinical trial examining the benefits of minimally invasive HIPEC. While most patients require a large incision for cytoreductive surgery, because their disease is so extensive, patients with early stage cancer may be candidates for the trial.

The trial explores the possibility of using smaller incision techniques like robotic surgery.

These techniques are less invasive than regular open abdominal surgery. For patients this is beneficial, because smaller incisions mean a shorter recovery period.

Treating Sarcomatoid Peritoneal Mesothelioma

In 2013, Dr. Baumgartner led a study to examine the outcomes of treating peritoneal mesothelioma with cytoreductive surgery and HIPEC. The study focused on patients with sarcomatoid mesothelioma that kept coming back. Sarcomatoid mesothelioma is the most aggressive form of the disease.

Mitomycin C, cisplatin and doxorubicin were the chemotherapy drugs used in the study.

In the study, the median disease-free and overall survival time after treatment was 17.2 and 22.6 months, respectively. There was also an increase in the amount of time before the disease recurred for patients who underwent combined cytoreduction and HIPEC versus patients who underwent cytoreduction alone (17.2 months vs. 10.7 months).

The study concluded that cytoreduction combined with HIPEC can help patients with this type of mesothelioma control their disease.

Dr. Joel Baumgartner Describes the HIPEC Procedure


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