Dr. Friedberg has contributed research resulting in improved survival rates for his patients. He also helped build the mesothelioma program at Abramson Cancer Center before moving to Maryland.

About Dr. Friedberg

Dr. Joseph Friedberg is the chief of thoracic surgery at the Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center in Baltimore. He is a leader in innovative treatment methods for mesothelioma patients and is consistently rated as one of the best overall surgeons in the country.

  • Medical Degree and Residency

    MD Harvard Medical School, 1986.
    Dr. Friedberg completed his residency in general surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital in 1994.

  • Professorship

    Charles Reid Edwards Professor of Surgery, University of Maryland

After completing his residency, Dr. Friedberg held a fellowship in cardiothoracic surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital from 1994 to 1996—a program headed by acclaimed mesothelioma specialist Dr. David Sugarbaker.

Taking what he learned at BWH, Dr. Friedberg helped establish the mesothelioma program at Abramson Cancer Center as one of the best in the world. He has led extensive research in photodynamic therapy (PDT) for mesothelioma patients and has also conducted research toward the development of a lung cancer vaccine.

In 2014, he joined an all-star team of specialists in other disciplines at the University of Maryland. Aside from the obvious goal of searching for better treatments, Dr. Friedberg is concerned with improving the quality of life for his mesothelioma patients.

“My goal for my career is to make it truly better for these patients. That’s what I want to do with the rest of my life.” —Dr. Friedberg

Dr. Friedberg’s Credentials

  • Thoracic-Surgeon-in-Chief at the University of Maryland
  • Pioneered photodynamic therapy for mesothelioma
  • Over 20 years of surgical experience

Get Connected To Dr. Joseph Friedberg

Photograph of Dr Friedberg
Dr. Friedberg is the leader of one of the world’s best mesothelioma programs. With the help of his team of mesothelioma specialists, patients are sure to get the treatment they deserve to beat their prognosis.

Why Choose Dr. Friedberg?
  • He innovated PDT for mesothelioma patients
  • His patients have greatly improved survival rates
  • He has led several clinical trials




Improving Mesothelioma Surgery

Throughout his career, Dr. Friedberg has strived to make surgery for mesothelioma patients more effective. To do this, he has tested different multimodal approaches as well as used different surgical techniques. He also relies on keeping an open mind and using a combination of intuition and logic in his work, to the benefit of his patients.

Dr. Friedberg performs both the extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) and the pleurectomy/decortication (P/D). Although he worked under Dr. David Sugarbaker, who developed the EPP, Dr. Friedberg is careful to put the patient’s needs first; this means performing the surgery with the greatest benefit.

Intraoperative Photodynamic Therapy with Dr. Friedberg

Perhaps Dr. Friedberg’s most impressive contribution to mesothelioma treatment to date is his research on intraoperative photodynamic therapy. He is one of the only mesothelioma specialists who offers this treatment. This gives many patients a unique reason to choose him as their specialist.

Photodynamic therapy (PDT) isn’t commonly used for mesothelioma patients because many doctors express skepticism over its efficacy. However, Dr. Friedberg believes that this can be an effective treatment for mesothelioma patients and that the results he has seen justify this approach.

In 2012, Dr. Friedberg published a study of 37 late stage mesothelioma patients who underwent a radical pleurectomy with intraoperative photodynamic therapy.

At a follow-up nearly three years after treatment, the median survival time for patients with an epithelioid cell type was triple the average life expectancy of 4 to 12 months for mesothelioma.

Dr. Friedberg’s results seemed to have had an effect on doctors in the mesothelioma community. Other cancer centers have recently taken up clinical trials to study this approach more closely. In 2014, two separate clinical trials testing radical pleurectomy with intraoperative photodynamic therapy were announced.

This highlights the importance of having an open minded, experienced doctor and why Dr. Friedberg fills that role. If you think surgery may be right for you, get connected with Dr. Joseph Friedberg with our free Doctor Match program.