Dr. Traves D. Crabtree

Dr. Traves D. Crabtree is a cardiothoracic surgeon specializing in treatment of lung cancer, mesothelioma and esophageal cancer.

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Dr. Traves D. Crabtree is an experienced cardiothoracic surgeon, specializing in the treatment of lung cancer, mesothelioma and esophageal cancer. He has led many clinical trials at various institutions around the treatment of these diseases, as well as using new techniques with video-assisted surgeries and stereotactic body radiation therapy. Today, he continues to progress research for these cancers and share his expansive knowledge with medical students at the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine.

Professional History

After Dr. Crabtree completed his fellowship at Washington University School of Medicine in Missouri, he decided to begin his medical career there and consistently strive to innovate. He taught as an associate professor of surgery, while also leading many clinical trials involving different surgery techniques and emerging treatments. He has become a leader in minimally invasive surgeries for lung cancer and other lung conditions, like mesothelioma.

Since his time at Washington University and working with several hospitals, including Barnes-Jewish Hospital, Dr. Crabtree returned to his alma mater, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, in fall 2016 as a professor in the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery. He also currently serves as the Medical Director of the Surgical Skills Laboratory, with affiliations at several hospitals.

Clinical Interests and Research

Dr. Crabtree has various areas of interest pertaining to cardiothoracic surgery and the treatment of the cancers he specializes in. His medical interests have helped shape the clinical trials he develops and collaborates on.

Dr. Traves D. Crabtree's Medical Areas of Interest
  • Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT)
  • Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS)
  • Lung volume reduction surgeries (LVRS)

He has authored or co-authored over 120 publications focused on the treatments of these cancers, and continues to explore new emerging treatments and new technology to find the best options for patients on an individual level. Dr. Crabtree has been especially interested in exploring stereotactic body radiation therapy, which has become a large focus of many clinical trials. His hope is to better define the emerging treatment as compared to conventional surgery, and determine which patients are the best candidates.

Selected Publications

Office-Based Spirometry: A New Model of Care in Preoperative Assessment for Low-Risk Lung Resections. The Annals of Thoracic Surgery. January 2018; 105, 279 – 286. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2017.08.010

Defining the Ideal Time Interval Between Planned Induction Therapy and Surgery for Stage IIIA Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer. The Annals of Thoracic Surgery. April 2017;103(4):1070-1075. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2016.09.053

Pneumonectomy for Clinical Stage IIIA Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: The Effect of Neoadjuvant Therapy. The Annals of Thoracic Surgery. February 2016; 101(2):451-7. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2015.07.022

Treatment Outcomes in Stage I Lung Cancer: A Comparison of Surgery and Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy. Journal of Thoracic Oncology. December 2015; 10(12):1776-8. doi:10.1097/JTO.0000000000000680


Dr. Crabtree has received recognition throughout his career for all of his contributions in advancing research for these cancers. He was named a Castle Connolly “Top Doctor” in 2012 and a “Regional Top Doctor” in 2014. Best Doctors, Inc. also named him as one of the “Best Doctors in America” in 2016. Additionally, Dr. Crabtree has been honored for his clinical research.

  • Richard E. Clark Award for General Thoracic Surgery – Society of Thoracic Surgeons