Where you receive cancer treatment makes a big difference with pleural mesothelioma. The best treatment for this rare disease is available in Boston, Houston and a handful of other cities across the United States.
Pleural mesothelioma treatment often combines surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, but every treatment plan needs to be tailored to the individual patient. The personalized treatment available at a mesothelioma cancer center gives patients a major advantage.
Pleural mesothelioma centers are spread across the country, so some patients may need to travel long distances to receive treatment.
Picking the right center can be tricky because there is so much to consider. Factors include the patient’s ability to travel, preferred treatment strategy, goals and expectations. Some cancer centers offer clinical trials and programs that integrate complementary and alternative medicine.
Patients and their families need to do their homework to find the right fit.
Pleural mesothelioma is a complex cancer. Life expectancy often depends on whether patients are treated at a cancer center that specializes in this disease.
Because pleural mesothelioma is rare, many cancer centers do not have mesothelioma specialists. The key is finding a cancer center with surgeons, oncologists and radiologists who all have experience treating this disease.
Doctors unfamiliar with mesothelioma have trouble distinguishing between the different subtypes and stages of the disease. They likely won’t be aware of the latest surgical techniques and drug combinations that can benefit mesothelioma patients.
Even worse, it is very common for patients to hear there is simply no way to treat pleural mesothelioma. Your local oncologist may just give you a life expectancy of a few months and a referral to hospice care.
No doctor can guarantee an effective treatment plan for pleural mesothelioma, but seeing a team of specialists will at least give you a fighting chance.
Although many of the best centers for pleural mesothelioma are clustered in the Northeast, there are other notable cancer centers scattered throughout the country.
Brigham and Women’s Hospital brings top-notch medical care to pleural mesothelioma patients. The hospital is a close partner of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and a part of the greater Harvard Medical School family of institutions.
Pleural mesothelioma doctors at Brigham and Women’s Hospital also serve veterans who come to the VA Boston Healthcare System.
The International Mesothelioma Program develops cutting-edge treatment strategies and provides support for patients and their families. The program is the largest of its kind, with about 180 patients and more than 300 consultations each year.
The mesothelioma specialists at Brigham and Women’s Hospital contribute to collaborative research studies and clinical trials.
Research topics include novel targeted cancer treatments, biomarkers for a more accurate diagnosis, reducing morbidities and recovery time after surgery, and improving patient quality of life.
The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute offers outpatient care, while inpatient care is offered at nearby Brigham and Women’s Hospital. The same team of expert mesothelioma doctors works at both sites.
The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is affiliated with Harvard Medical School and receives more than $500 million in research grants each year from the National Institutes of Health.
The Dana Farber Cancer Institute supports the International Mesothelioma Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s researchers have learned more about how mesothelioma tumors grow. They have studied the effects of different combinations and dosages of drugs and tested ways to administer treatments with fewer side effects than standard chemotherapy.
The institute has 19 core research facilities and collaborates with Harvard Medical School, Harvard School of Public Health and four of its affiliated hospitals.
The MD Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas is a national leader in the diagnosis and treatment of pleural mesothelioma. In 2017, U.S. News and World Report ranked it the No. 1 “Best Hospital for Cancer Care” for the third consecutive year.
MD Anderson’s thoracic team consists of more than 30 surgeons, oncologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists and pulmonologists who have experience treating mesothelioma.
The Mesothelioma Program in MD Anderson’s Department of Thoracic/Head and Neck Medical Oncology is one of the largest of its kind in the country.
MD Anderson has participated in hundreds of research projects and offers patients access to clinical trials of emerging treatments. The center’s researchers are developing new diagnostic methods, targeted radiation therapy and novel drugs that increase the body’s ability to fight the disease.
The H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center emphasizes innovative treatment options through clinical research. The specialists there pioneered intensity-modulated radiation therapy for mesothelioma.
Specialists communicate closely with one another to ensure the best course of treatment in each case. They focus on not only treatment but also total cancer care throughout the patient’s life.
The Mesothelioma Treatment and Research Center is one of the finest programs in the southeastern United States.
Researchers at Moffitt’s Mesothelioma Treatment and Research Center focus on exploring novel treatment methods. Research areas include immunotherapy, experimental therapeutics and ways to better detect and prevent cancer.
The National Cancer Institute designated Moffitt a Comprehensive Cancer Center because of its continued achievements in research. It has received more than $75 million in peer-reviewed grant funding.
The Center for Lung Cancer, Mesothelioma and Related Disorders at the Abramson Cancer Center has earned national recognition for developing more effective treatments. Its accomplished research team gives pleural mesothelioma patients access to clinical trials.
The center’s Mesothelioma and Pleural Disease Program offers specialists in oncology, surgery and radiation who collaborate to develop a patient-specific treatment plan. This multidisciplinary approach includes the most advanced and minimally invasive surgical techniques.
The Mesothelioma and Pleural Disease Program offers treatment for pleural mesothelioma, asbestosis and other occupational illnesses.
As part of the University of Pennsylvania, the Abramson Cancer Center’s researchers ensure their discoveries have an immediate effect on improving patient care. They study the causes of pleural mesothelioma to improve detection methods and learn how to better treat this disease.
The center’s thoracic surgeons have developed less invasive surgical options that reduce recovery time. They also helped pioneer video assisted surgery and the use of photodynamic therapy in combination with surgery.
The Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center is integrated with the University of California, Los Angeles, a research and teaching university with state-of-the-art facilities.
JCCC has established a reputation for developing and improving cancer therapies. The center also partners with the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System to provide first-class care to veterans.
UCLA’s Comprehensive Mesothelioma Program offers innovative surgical options and postoperative therapy to improve and maintain quality of life.
The National Cancer Institute awarded JCCC’s Lung Cancer Program a Specialized Programs of Research Excellence grant, which promotes collaborative, interdisciplinary translational cancer research. The program’s researchers have developed a number of targeted cancer treatment drugs.
The Lung Institute at Baylor College of Medicine was set up under the leadership of Dr. David Sugarbaker. He had previously been the founding director of the International Mesothelioma Program in Boston.
Baylor’s Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center partners with the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center. It has been recognized for excellence by the National Cancer Institute.
Baylor’s Mesothelioma Treatment Center has recruited many of the nation’s top pleural mesothelioma specialists.
The Baylor College of Medicine is located in the Texas Medical Center, the world’s largest health sciences complex. This gives the researchers of the Lung Institute extraordinary opportunities for collaboration.
Their research efforts focus on matching novel targeted therapies to the unique genetics and characteristics of each patient’s character.
The University of Chicago’s Comprehensive Cancer Center has been a leader in mesothelioma treatment for more than 20 years. Overall, the National Cancer Institute has designated it as one of the top centers for cancer treatment in the country.
The program’s researchers focus on developing innovative treatment regimens to extend patient life expectancies with pleural mesothelioma.
Chicago’s Mesothelioma Program offers state-of-the-art treatment options and experimental therapies through clinical trials.
The center’s researchers aim to improve patients’ quality of life and eradicate mesothelioma as a life-threatening disease. They focus on translational research they can immediately use to develop new treatments or improve surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
The Ochsner Health System includes 40 health centers and hundreds of physicians in more than 90 specialties. Physicians, oncology nurses, researchers, social workers and other health care professionals collaborate to deliver outstanding patient care.
The Ochsner Community Clinical Oncology Program gives patients the opportunity to participate in clinical trials developed by collaborative groups from around the country.
The Ochsner Cancer Institute partners with the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center. The institute focuses on developing and testing new cancer treatment methods such as heated chemoperfusion for pleural mesothelioma.
Ochsner has been involved in cutting-edge clinical trials for decades and has the largest clinical trial program in the New Orleans area.
The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center has one of the most extensive cancer center networks, with 39 affiliates nationwide. UPMC’s partnership with the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute allows it to make significant advances in cancer research.
The Mesothelioma Specialty Care Program includes specialists in thoracic surgery, radiology, pathology, pulmonology and pain management.
Research and clinical trials are an integral part of UPMC’s cancer centers. Its specialists focus on pioneering new cancer treatments such as radiofrequency ablation.
UPMC researchers also work to learn more about the biological basis of cancer growth and identify biomarkers to improve diagnostic techniques.
Veterans can receive high-quality pleural mesothelioma treatment within the Department of Veterans Affairs system. Eligible veterans can ask for a referral to any of several locations:
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