Prof. Frank Detterbeck: more attention should be paid to subgroup in the study of rare disease
Meet the Professor

Prof. Frank Detterbeck: more attention should be paid to subgroup in the study of rare disease

Grace S. Li

(Managing Editor, JOVS,

Received: 10 November 2015; Accepted: 30 November 2015; Published 14 January 2016.

doi: 10.3978/j.issn.2221-2965.2015.12.06

The 6th Annual International Thymic Malignancy Interest Group (ITMIG) Meeting in Shanghai on Oct 23–25 came to a close with a resounding success. It was marked by exciting sessions, scientific progress and further development of relationships and collaborations among clinicians, researchers and industry partners.

During the conference, Prof. Frank Detterbeck, the former President and the committee member of ITMIG, has given an innovative lecture on outlier analysis, leading us to think out of box and find novel ways to advance in a rare disease.

Journal of Visualized Surgery was honored to invite Prof. Detterbeck for a brief interview to further share his opinion on the controversial issues presented during the meeting (Figures 1,2).

Figure 1 Prof. Detterbeck with Journal of Visualized Surgery (JOVS) editor.
Figure 2 Interview with Prof. Detterbeck (1). Available online:

The full report and abstracts for the conference has been published as a supplement issue in Journal of Thoracic Disease:


Frank Detterbeck, MD, FACS, FCCP is a Professor of Surgery and Chief of Thoracic Surgery at Yale University and Associate Director of the Yale Cancer Center. He earned a BS in Cell Biology at the University of Michigan, and an MD degree from Northwestern University. After completing general surgery training at the Virginia Mason Clinic in Seattle, he pursued a cardiothoracic fellowship and a fellowship in thoracic transplantation at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He rose to the rank of professor of surgery at the University of North Carolina during a long tenure there before being recruited to Yale University in 2005. The major focus of his career has been on thoracic oncology. In particular, he has promoted evidence-based care and multidisciplinary teamwork. He has written extensively on these and other topics, with over 150 papers and book chapters. He holds leadership positions in many of the major professional societies associated with thoracic surgery and has given invited lectures on a wide variety of topics at many institutions and international meetings.

Interview question

  • What is the take home message from your Innovative Lecture on Outlier Analysis?
  • What do you think of the efficacy of subtotal and total thymectomy?
  • How is the updated IASLC (proposal) and WHO tumor classification going to influence the upcoming study of thymic surgery?
  • In terms of thymic surgery, which is your preferred procedure: open, video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) or robotic surgery?
  • How would you comment on the recent development of thymic surgery in China?




Conflicts of Interest: The author has no conflicts of interest to declare.


  1. Li GS. Interview with Prof. Detterbeck. Asvide 2016;3:013. Available online:
doi: 10.3978/j.issn.2221-2965.2015.12.06
Cite this article as: Li GS. Prof. Frank Detterbeck: more attention should be paid to subgroup in the study of rare disease. J Vis Surg 2016;2:10.