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Dr. Heather Wakelee is a clinical investigator who concentrates her efforts on lung cancer, malignant mesothelioma, and other thoracic malignancies. After years developing research program and being physician lead for Stanford’s thoracic malignancies clinical research group, she took on the role of Deputy Director of the Stanford Cancer Institute. Dr. Wakelee is actively and personally involved in patient care, guiding lung cancer patients through difficult decisions about chemotherapy, adjuvant systemic therapies, and other treatments.
Education and Career
Dr. Wakelee earned a bachelors degree in Molecular Biology at Princeton University. She then earned her medical degree at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and completed a residency in Internal Medicine at Stanford University. She completed a fellowship at Stanford University’s Division of Oncology and then joined the university’s faculty.
She served as physician lead for Stanford’s thoracic malignancies clinical research group, which uses a variety of health services research methodologies to assess the quality and effectiveness of surgical interventions for mesothelioma and lung cancer patients. Dr. Wakelee worked with a multidisciplinary team from the School of Engineering, Biodesign, Pulmonary Medicine, Plastic Surgery, Oncology, Radiation Oncology, and Medical Oncology to integrate health services into the advancement of care that emphasizes clinical outcomes, quality of care and cost with a goal of defining and advancing best practices.
In addition to her current role as Deputy Director of the Stanford Cancer Institute, she is also Division Chief of Medical Oncology. She is also active in many national and international organizations related to lung cancer, including her role as President of the Board of Directors of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer. She has also authored and co-authored over 200 articles on lung cancer and other thoracic malignancies.
Dr. Wakelee’s research focuses on specific lung cancer subtypes defined by mutations. She is actively involved in numerous clinical trials of adjuvant therapy, immunotherapy, and anti-angiogenesis agents, and is working with colleagues investigating biomarkers and population science research centered on lung cancer and mesothelioma.
Dr. Wakelee is currently focused on trials with agents specifically targeted to known mutations such as AGFR, ALK, and other “driver” mutations, with a special focus on resistance mechanisms. She is an active member of the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG-ACRIN), a membership-based scientific organization that designs and conducts cancer research involving adults who have or are at risk of developing cancer.
Dr. Wakelee considers herself a people person. She believes that communication is the key to patient care, and she is dedicated to finding better ways to help patients with mesothelioma and other types of thoracic cancers.Get Your FREE Mesothelioma Packet
Written by Terri Oppenheimer
Terri Oppenheimer has been writing about mesothelioma and asbestos topics for over ten years. She has a degree in English from the College of William and Mary. Terri’s experience as the head writer of our Mesothelioma.net news blog gives her a wealth of knowledge which she brings to all Mesothelioma.net articles she authors.
Page Edited by Patient Advocate Dave Foster
Dave has been a mesothelioma Patient Advocate for over 10 years. He consistently attends all major national and international mesothelioma meetings. In doing so, he is able to stay on top of the latest treatments, clinical trials, and research results. He also personally meets with mesothelioma patients and their families and connects them with the best medical specialists and legal representatives available.