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Lee Krug, M.D.

Dr. Lee Krug is a medical oncologist specializing in the treatment of mesothelioma, the cancer that attacks the lining of organs in the body and that is connected to asbestos exposure. Not many people specialize in this rare cancer, but from his position at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Dr. Krug is making advances in the understanding of this disease and helping patients.

Dr. Krug is a working medical oncologist, helping and treating patients, and conducting research, but he is also the head of the Mesothelioma Program at Memorial Sloan Kettering. He leads other physicians in working on better solutions for treating mesothelioma and helps train residents and interns to prepare the next generation of doctors who will be battling this disease.

Education

Dr. Krug earned his medical degree from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. He also completed a residency program specializing in internal medicine at Johns Hopkins University medical school in Baltimore. Following the completion of his residency, Dr. Krug completed a hematology and oncology fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Institute in New York. He developed an interest during his fellowship in diagnosing and treating patients with mesothelioma and stayed on to work there as a medical oncologist and eventually as the director of the Mesothelioma Program.

Career as a Medical Oncologist

Many of the physicians that specialize in mesothelioma are surgeons. Treatment of this type of cancer often involves surgical procedures, but medical doctors are also needed to help advance treatment using chemotherapy, radiation, and other strategies. To provide the best care for patients, medical and surgical oncologists come together to collaborate on treatment plans.

As a medical oncologist, Dr. Krug works with patients and colleagues to diagnose diseases like mesothelioma and other cancers. He also works with patients to treat them, using strategies like imaging scans, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormonal treatments, immunology, and other evolving and innovative types of treatment to fight cancer and shrink tumors.

Sloan Kettering Memorial Cancer Center

Dr. Krug is currently an Associate Attending Physician in the Division of Thoracic Oncology at Sloan Kettering Memorial Cancer Center in New York, but he is also a leader at Sloan Kettering, heading the Mesothelioma Program. In this role he leads a team of dedicated experts and professionals to help diagnose and treat patients with mesothelioma.

With few people specializing in this rare cancer, Sloan Kettering has a unique group of varied professionals, led by Dr. Krug, who use their different areas of expertise together to help battle mesothelioma. Together this team discusses each patient’s unique situation, determining the best treatment course and enrolling them in any clinical trials from which they may benefit.

Research

An important part of Dr. Krug’s career in medical oncology and mesothelioma has been conducting research to help further the understanding of mesothelioma, how to diagnose it, and how to better treat mesothelioma patients. His more than 50 publications have included studies on things like genetic mutations that may indicate a patient has pleural mesothelioma and the use of chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery in combination for treating the early stages of mesothelioma. This multimodal approach to treating and managing mesothelioma is now widely used by many other cancer specialists.

Dr. Krug’s research has also included a number of clinical trials, studies that involve real patients and that are used to test the safety and effectiveness of treatments and procedures. Patients with mesothelioma often participate in clinical trials to gain access to treatments that are not yet approved for general use. Some of the trials Dr. Krug has led include testing the use of chemotherapy before extrapleural pneumonectomy, a surgical procedure for treating pleural mesothelioma. Other clinical trials have tested mesothelioma vaccines and new chemotherapy drugs.

Professional Organizations, Honors, and Achievements

In his 20-plus year career in medical oncology and mesothelioma, Dr. Krug has achieved many professional milestones and received many honors. Among these are leading the National Comprehensive Cancer Network committee that established guidelines for treating mesothelioma, guidelines that doctors around the world use.

He is also the chair of the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation, also known as the Meso Foundation, a nonprofit organization that is devoted to ending mesothelioma through research, education, and advocacy. Dr. Krug belongs to a number of medical professional associations and has been listed several years in a row as a Top Doctor in the New York Metro Area.

With more than 20 years in his career, Dr. Krug has much more left to give but has already contributed so much to the cause of mesothelioma patients. From his clinical work to his devoted research to his nonprofit and advocacy commitments, Dr. Krug is making a real difference in the lives of so many.

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