I am a board-certified thoracic surgeon whose passion and expertise is dedicated to diagnosing and treating people with cancers of the chest, including the lungs, esophagus, mediastinum, pleura, and all other parts of the chest cavity. I serve as Director of Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Esophageal Program in the Thoracic Surgery Service, where I strive to provide excellent and individualized care to my patients and to integrate new technology and novel approaches to the Thoracic Oncology Service. I also have a deep understanding of benign esophageal diseases (GERD, Barrett’s esophagus, hiatal hernia, and other potential precursors of esophageal cancer) and dysmotility disorders (achalasia, diverticula, ineffective motility), which can severely impair quality of life in people with cancer.
I use minimally invasive techniques such as video-assisted thoracic surgery and laparoscopic or robotic procedures whenever possible to decrease pain and enhance recovery. I am a strong patient advocate, and I like to involve patients and caregivers in each step of the care delivery continuum. From diagnosis to recovery and follow-up, we work together as a team.
My research focuses on identifying and measuring quality indicators to improve clinical and functional outcomes after surgery, designing clinical pathways to decrease costs and improve results, and identifying racial and socioeconomic disparities that limit access to excellent care.
I am also interested in developing and studying new technologies and image-guided approaches to make surgical resection more precise and effective and less invasive.
- Clinical Expertise: Lung and Esophageal Cancers; Thymic Malignancies; Pulmonary Metastases; Mesothelioma; Minimally Invasive Surgery; Foregut surgery; Paraesophageal Hernias; Video-Assisted Thoracic Surgery (VATS); Bronchoscopy and Endobronchial Ultrasound (EBUS); Gastrointestinal Endoscopy; Tracheobronchial and Esophageal Stents
- Languages Spoken: English; Italian
- Education: MD, Universita’ Degli Studi di Padova (Italy)
- Residencies: University of Rochester Medical Center; Universita’ Degli Studi di Padova (Italy)
- Fellowships: NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center; Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
- Board Certifications: Thoracic Surgery; General Surgery
Research is integral to our mission at Memorial Sloan Kettering, and clinical trials help us discover better forms of patient care and treatment. For you, this could mean access to a new therapy or therapy combination. Click to see a list of the trials I’m currently leading.
Clinical Trials Co-Investigated by Daniela Molena
Most major health insurers offer plans that include MSK as one of their in-network providers. If MSK is in-network, it means all our doctors are too. Medicaid and New York State Medicare also provide benefits for care at MSK.Learn more