Dr. Valerie Rusch has been spearheading mesothelioma research for decades, with more than 25 years of experience as a thoracic surgeon.

About Dr. Rusch

Dr. Valerie Rusch has 25 years of experience as a thoracic surgeon and specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with lung and airways-related diseases. Dr. Rusch is committed to providing the highest possible quality of care to her patients. She is also one of the first women in the nation to become a board certified thoracic surgeon.

  • Medical Degree and Residency

    MD, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. Dr. Rusch completed her residency at the University of Washington Affiliated Hospitals followed by a fellowship at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

  • Professional Title

    Vice Chair for Clinical Research, Department of Surgery; Miner Family Chair in Intrathoracic Cancers

With an impressive resume and outstanding contributions to the medical community, Dr. Rusch is currently the vice chair for clinical research in the Department of Surgery at Memorial Sloan-Kettering, where she currently practices. Dr. Rusch takes pride in her level of commitment to using only the highest level of technological expertise, as well as a caring, hands-on approach to patient success.

Dr. Rusch makes it her mission to engage minimally invasive techniques whenever possible, using ultrasound technology to determine the extent of tumors without incision. Dr. Rusch is dedicated to research on the genetics and treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma.

Dr. Rusch’s Accomplishments

Dr. Rusch currently serves as chair of the American Board of Thoracic Surgery, as a regent (member of the Board of Directors) of the American College of Surgeons, as chair of the Lung and Esophagus Task Force of the American Joint Commission on Cancer, and as chair of the Mesothelioma Subcommittee of the IASLC (International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer) Staging Committee.

She regularly contributes to peer-reviewed specialty surgical and oncology journals, and has written chapters on lung cancer, mesothelioma, esophageal cancer, pleural disease, and mediastinal disease for several medical textbooks.

Get Connected To Dr. Valerie Rusch

Photograph of Dr Rusch
Dr. Rusch is a leader in clinical trials for mesothelioma and has contributed invaluable research to the field. Her research has been integral in mesothelioma patients across the country outliving their prognoses.

Why Choose Dr. Valerie Rusch?
  • Leads potentially life-saving clinical trials
  • Has 25+ years experience treating mesothelioma
  • Has led her patients to improved life expectancies




Key Study Led By Dr. Rusch

An example of one of Dr. Rusch’s contributions to the medical community is a study she led, titled, “A phase II trial of surgical resection and adjuvant high-dose hemithoracic radiation for malignant pleural mesothelioma.” The trial was published in the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery in 2001.

The purpose of the study was to reduce the local recurrence of mesothelioma tumors after surgery. At the time, the study reported local recurrences occurred in 80% of patients. Patients who participated in the study either had an extrapleural pneumonectomy or a pleurectomy with decortication followed by post-surgery, or adjuvant, radiation therapy.

The results of the study determined that the combination of radical surgery and adjuvant radiation therapy was far more successful than surgery alone. The median survival time among early stage patients in this study was 33.8 months, and local recurrence of tumors was significantly reduced. Use our free Doctor Match program to find leading specialists like Dr. Rusch who are right for you.

Meet Dr. Rusch