Kenneth Kesler, MD

Professor of Surgery
Surgical Director, IU Thoracic Oncology Program

Specialty: Thoracic Surgery

Medical School: Indiana University School of Medicine

Residency: Indiana University School of Medicine

Fellowship: St. Louis University (Cardiothoracic Surgery)


I am a Professor in the Department of Surgery and serve as the Surgical Director of the Thoracic Oncology Program.  My main research interests are esophageal cancer, lung cancer, thymoma, and germ cell tumors.  As a nationally and internationally recognized thoracic surgery with multiple publications in esophageal cancer research, I have spearheaded gene expression and biomarker studies in esophageal cancer.  I will coordinate Dr. Jalal’s overall research training and career development in addition to sharing my expertise in the treatment of esophageal cancer.  I will be directly involved in the clinical research and will in addition be collecting tumor tissue surgically for assessment of Emel 1 endonuclease activity as well as assessment of response to cisplatin.  I interact with Dr. Jalal on a weekly basis as well as evaluating patients in the Multi-disciplinary Thoracic Oncology Clinic discussing patient cases, esophageal cancer articles and trials, in addition to other oncology and academic issues.  I have mentored several fellows who have moved on and established successful academic careers.  I continue to critique Dr. Jalal’s research proposals and manuscripts, discuss her research ideas, and attend her research presentations.  She will continue to meet with me on a monthly basis and discuss her research projects.


IU Health Physicians


IU Health Methodist/IU Health University
IU Health North

Location Information

Emerson Hall

545 Barnhill Dr EH 212

Indianapolis, IN 46202

IU Cancer Center 2nd Floor

535 Barnhill Dr

Indianapolis, IN 46202

Clinical Interests


Accepting New Patients

Schedule an Appointment  Clinical Trials

Peer-reviewed Publications

  1. Kesler K. Discussion, The Effect of Combined Modality Therapy on Quality of Life in Esophageal Cancer. Paper presented by Gail Darling, M.D. at the 2007 Annual Meeting of the American Association for Thoracic Surgery.  J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2009;137:41-42
  2. Hammoud Z, Badve S, Zhao Q, Li L, Rieger K, Kesler KA. Differential gene expression profiling of esophageal adenocarcinoma. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2009 Apr;137(4):829-34
  3. Rice TW, Rusch VW, Apperson-Hanson C, Allen MS, Chen LQ, Hunter JG, Kesler KA, Law S, Lerut A, Reed CE, Salo JA, Scott WJ, Swisher SG, Watson TJ, Blackstone EH. Worldwide Esophageal Cancer Collaboration. Dis Esophagus 2009;22(1):1-8
  4. Nelson RP, Loehrer PJ, Pascuzzi RM, Pescovitz MD, Kesler KA, Faught PR.  Rituximab for the Treatment of Thymoma-Associated and DeNovo Myasthenia Gravis: Three Cases and Review. J Clin Neuromuscul Dis 2009;10(4);170-177
  5. Hammoud ZT, Rose AS, Hage C, Knox K, Rieger KM, Kesler KA. Surgical Management of Pulmonary and Mediastinal Sequelae of Histoplasmosis: A Challenging Spectrum. Ann Thorac Surg 2009; 88 (2):399-403
  6. Tisdale JE, Wroblewski HA, Rieger KM, Hammoud ZT, Young JV, Wall DS, Kesler KA. A Randomized Trial Evaluation Amiodarone for Prevention of Atrial Fibrillation Following Pulmonary resection. Ann Thorac Surg 2009;88:886-895
  7. Radaideh SM, Cook VC, Kesler KA, Einhorn LH. Outcome Following Resection for Patients with Primary Mediastinal Nonseminomatous Germ Cell tumors and Rising Serum Tumor Markers Post-chemotherapy. Ann Oncol 2010;21:804-7
  8. Butts CA, Ding K, Seymour L, Twumasi-Ankrah P, Graham B, Gandara D, Johnson DH, Kesler KA, Green M, Vincent M, Cormeir Y, Goss G, Findlay B, Johnston M, Tsao MS, Shepard FA. Randomized Phase III Trial of Vinorelbine/Cisplatin  Compared with Observation in Completely Resected Stage IB and II Non-small Cell Lung Cancer: Updated Survival Analysis of JBR-10. J Clin Onc 2010 Jan 1;28(1):29-34
  9. Rizk NP, Ishwaran H, Rice TW, Chen L, Schipper PH, Kesler KA, Law S, Lerut T, Reed CE, Salo JA, Scott WJ, Hofstetter WL, Watson TJ, Allen MS, Rusch VW, Blackstone EH. Optimum Lymphadenectomy for Esophageal Cancer. Ann Surg 2010 Jan;251(1):46-50
  10. Okereke IC, Kesler KA, Morad MH, Mi D, Rieger KM, Birdas TJ, Badve S, Henley  JD, Turrentine MW, Nelson RP, Loehrer PJ. Prognostic Indicators After Surgery for  Thymoma. Ann Thorac Surg 2010;89:1071-9
  11. Hammoud ZT, Mechref Y, Hussein A, Bekesova S, Zhang M, Kesler KA, Novotny MV. Comparative Glycomic Profiling in Esophageal Adenocarcinoma. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2010;139(5):1216-22
  12. Tisdale JE, Wroblewski HA, Rieger KM, Hammoud ZT, Young JV, Wall DS, Kesler KA. A Randomized, Controlled Study of Amiodarone for Prevention of Atrial Fibrillation after Transthoracic esophagectomy. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2010;140:45-51
  13. Okereke IC, Kesler KA, Rieger KM, Birdas TJ, Mi D, Turrentine MW, Brown JW.  Results of Superior Vena Cava Reconstruction with Externally Stented Polytretraflurorethylene Vascular Prostheses.  Ann Thorac Surg 2010;90:383-387
  14. Einhorn LE, Abonour R, Kesler KA. Paciltaxel Plus Ifosfamide Followed By High Dose Carboplatin Plus Etoposide For Patients With Relapsed Primary Mediastinal Nonseminomatous Germ Cell Tumors: Benefit from Chemotherapy, Surgery or Both? J Clin Oncol, 2010 Nov 8
  15. Zhang J, Liu L, Wei S, Gowde GA, Hammoud Z, Kesler KA, Raftery D. Metabolomics Study of Esophageal Adenocarcinoma.  J Thorac  Cardiovasc Surg 2010;Sept 27
  16. Kesler K, Kruter LE, Perkins SM, Rieger KM, Sullivan KJ, Runyan ML, Einhorn LH, Brown JW. Survival after Surgery for Metastatic Testicular Nonseminomatous Germ Cell Cancer to the Lung or Mediastinum: Risk Factor Analysis from a Single Institution Experience. Ann Thorac Surg 91(4:1085-93; discussion 1093, 2011 Apr.
  17. Govindan R, Morgensztern D, McLeod H, Mantravadi P, Fineberg, N, Ansari R, Fox E, Helft P, Kesler K, Hanna N, Stoner C, Einhorn L. Cisplatin, 5-Fluorouracil  (5-FU), Celecoxib and Concurrent Radiation in Patients with Resectable Esophageal Cancer: Final Results of a Phase II Study from the Hoosier Oncology Group. J Clin Oncol - in press
  18. Rice TW, Rusch VW, Ishwaran H, Hunter JG, Kesler KA, Law S, Lerut T, Reed CE, Salo JA, Scott WJ, Hofstetter WL, Watson TJ, Allen MS, Chen LC, Blackstone EH. Data Driven Staging in Esophageal Cancer. J Clin Oncol - submitted
  19. Khan BA, Halal AM, Kesler KA. Cardiac Compression Secondary to a Massively Dilated Substernal Colon Conduit. J Ped Surg – in preparation
  20. Choong NW, Mauer AM, Haraf DC, Ferguson MK, Sandler AB, Kesler KA, Fishkin PAS, Ansari RH, Wade III J, Krauss SA, Sciortino DF, Posner MC, Kocherginski M, Hoffman PC, Szeto L, Vokes EE. Long-term Outcome of a Phase II Study of Docetaxel-Based Multibodality Chemoradiotherapy for Locally Advanced Carcinoma of the Esophagus or Gastroesophageal Junction. – Med Oncol 2011 Dec; 28 Suppl 1:152-61.
  21. Jain RK, Mehta RJ, Henley JD, Kesler KA, Loehrer PJ, Badve S.  WHO Types A and AB Thymomas:  Not Always Benign.  Med Pathol 2010;Sep 10
  22. Mitra R, Lee J, Jo J, Milani M, McClintick J, Edenberg H, Kesler K, Rieger K, Badve S, Cummings O, Mohiuddin A, Thomas D, Luo X, Julier B, Li L, Mesaros C, blair I, Srirangam A, Kratzke R, McDonald C, Kim J, Potter D. Prediction of Postoperative Recurrence-Free Survival in Non-small Cell Lung Cancer by Using an Internationally Validated Gene Expression Model. Clinical Cancer Research – submitted
  23. Birdas, T, Morad, M, Okereke I, Rieger K, Kruter L, Mathur P, Kesler K. Risk Factors for Bronchopleural Fistula after Right Pneumonectomy. Annals of Thoracic Surgery – submitted
  24. Becerra CR, Hanna N, McCollum AD, Bechar N, Timmerman R, Yu M, tong Y, Kesler K, DiMaio M, Choy H. A Phase II Study with Cetuximab and Radiation Therapy for Patients with Surgically Resectable Esophageal and GE Junction Carcinoma: Hoosier Oncology Group GI05-92. Submitted to Journal of Clinical Oncology
  25. Vladislav T, Jain RK, Alvarez R, Mehta RJ, Gökmen-Pola Y, Kesler KA, Henley JD, Loehrer Sr PJ, Badve S.  Extrathoracic Metastases of Thymic Origin:  A Review of 35 cases.  Mod Pathol. 2012 Mar;25:370-7
  26. Birdas TJ, Morad MH, Okereke IC, Reiger KM, Kruter LE, Mathur PN, Kesler KA.  Risk Factors for Bronchopleural Fistula After Right Pneumonectomy:  Does Eliminating the Stump Diverticulum Provide Protection?  Ann Surg Oncol. 2012 Apr 19;(4): 1336-42.
  27. Khawaja MR, Nelson RP Jr, Miller N, Badve SS, Loehrer E, Czader M, Perkins SM, Kesler K, Loehrer PJ Sr.  Immune-Mediated Diseases and Immunodeficiencies Associated with Thymic Epithelial Neoplasms.  J Clin Immunol. 2012 June;32(3): 430-7
  28. Okereke Ikenna C., Kesler Kenneth A., Freeman Richard K., Rieger Karen M., Birdas Thomas J., Ascioti Anthony J., Badve Sunil, Nelson Robert P., Loehrer Patrick J.  Thymic Carcinoma:  Outcomes After Surgical Resection.  Ann Thorac Surg 2012;93:1668-1673.
  29. Patel J, Kruter L, Birdas T, Rieger K, Okereke I, Kesler KA, Einhorn L.  The “Growing Teratoma Syndrome” in Primary Mediastinal Nonseminomatous Germ Cell Tumors:  Criteria Based on Current Practice.  Journ Thora Cardiovasc Surg. – in press.
  30. Gökmen-Polar Y, Sanders K, Goswami C, Cano O, Zahear N, Jain R, Kesler K, Nelson R, Vance G, Smith D, Li L, Cardoso A, Badve S, Loehrer P, and Sledge G.  Establishment and Characterization of a Novel Cell Line Derived from Human Thymoma AB Tumor.  Lab Invest. – in press.
  31. Mosher C, Champion V, Azzoli C, Nasser H, Jalal S, Achilles J, Birdas T, Okereke O, Kesler KA, Einhorn L, Monahan P, Ostroff J.  Economic and Social Changes Among Distressed Family Caregivers of Lung Cancer Patients.  Sup Care Can – submitted.
  32. Khan BA, Ionescu RC, Halal AM, Kesler KA.  Cardiac Compression Secondary to a Massively Dilated Substernal Colon Conduit.  J. Pediatr Surg. 2012 Nov;47(11):2126-8 – in press.

Department of Surgery | 545 Barnhill Drive, Emerson Hall 203, Indianapolis, In 46202 | Phone: (317) 274-5771