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Dr. David Rice, pleural mesothelioma surgeon

David C. Rice, M.D.

Thoracic Surgeon

Dr. David Rice is a thoracic surgeon, associate professor and pleural mesothelioma specialist at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

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About Dr. David Rice

Dr. David Rice, who grew up in Dublin, plays a key role in the mesothelioma program at the MD Anderson Cancer Center.

The program includes a team of thoracic surgeons, medical oncologists, pulmonologists, pathologists and radiation oncologists.

They work closely together to provide a personalized, multidisciplinary approach to treatment.

Rice also has been instrumental in advancing clinical research nationally.

He is the principal investigator in a mesothelioma clinical trial examining neoadjuvant chemotherapy in combination with extrapleural pneumonectomy surgery and adjuvant radiation therapy.

Rice is conducting another clinical trial measuring the benefits of novel targeted biological agents for patients who have undergone lung cancer surgery.

He also is part of a clinical trial looking at the effects of circulating tumor cells in patients undergoing surgery.

Focus on Minimally Invasive Procedures

While handling most thoracic malignancies, Rice has expanded the role of minimally invasive surgical procedures, including video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery.

He was the first surgeon at MD Anderson to perform a minimally invasive esophagectomy, a complex procedure done regularly at only a handful of cancer centers nationally.

Rice regularly performs a minimally invasive lobectomy for localized lung cancers.

Improving Survival Rates Is Key

Improving survival rates has been at the heart of Rice’s pioneering research.

Beyond surgery, he has worked toward more precise diagnostics, more targeted radiation and novel immunotherapy drugs.

He is part of a multinational program that is working to improve the mesothelioma staging system, making therapy more appropriate and customized.

Rice received his medical degree from the School of Medicine, Trinity College, the University of Dublin. He completed an internship at St. James Hospital in Dublin.

His education continued at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, where he finished one residency in general surgery and another in tumor immunology.

He trained in thoracic and cardiovascular surgery at the Baylor College of Medicine and at MD Anderson.

Rice became a co-founder of the Minimally Invasive and New Technologies in Oncologic Surgery working group at MD Anderson, which has led to advances nationally in lung cancer surgeries.

His work has been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals, including Clinical Cancer Research, Annals of Oncology and Cancer.

Snehal Smart, M.D.

Snehal Smart, M.D.

Snehal Smart is the Pleural Mesothelioma Center’s in-house medical doctor, serving as both an experienced Patient Advocate and an expert medical writer for the website. When she is not providing one-on-one assistance to patients, Dr. Snehal stays current on the latest medical research, reading peer-reviewed studies and interviewing oncologists to learn about advancements in diagnostic tools and cancer treatments.

Last Modified February 13, 2019

1 Cited Article Sources

  1. University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. (n.d.). David C. Rice. Retrieved from

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