Dr. Rodney Landreneau is a thoracic surgeon at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in Altoona. He has almost 30 years of experience treating pleural mesothelioma cancer.

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About Dr. Rodney Landreneau

Dr. Rodney Landreneau has expertise in minimally invasive and video-assisted thoracic surgery.

He is also experienced in more aggressive operations such as the pleurectomy and decortication and the extrapleural pneumonectomythat are used with mesothelioma.

He sees patients regularly at the Heart and Vascular Institute in Altoona. His hospital affiliations include UPMC Jameson, UPMC Presbyterian and UPMC Altoona.

He joined UPMC’s regional facility in Altoona in 2016 as part of a medical oncology expansion that has allowed it to handle complex diseases such as pleural mesothelioma.

Area Needed a Specialist

The Altoona area has been hit with a disproportionate number of lung cancer and mesothelioma cases, stemming from asbestos exposure traced to the region’s industrial railroad complex, once the largest in America.

“We’re in the right place now to make a difference. There was a void that needed to be filled,” Landreneau said. “This was an underserved area when it came to thoracic surgery. Unfortunately, there still are a lot of patients being diagnosed with mesothelioma. We’re here to help.”

Landreneau has been a pioneer in the surgical advancement of mesothelioma treatment. He spent 20 years earlier in his career at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center in Pittsburgh before joining the Ochsner Cancer Institute in New Orleans in 2012.

Providing Specialized Treatment

He is one of the few thoracic surgeons who performs the surgical debulking and hyperthermic chemoperfusion combination for mesothelioma patients, a procedure he first mastered at UPMC.

At Ochsner in 2013, he became the first surgeon in Louisiana to perform the procedure, quickly attracting new patients throughout the state.

He believes it is critical for patients to find a specialist with experience in a rare cancer such as mesothelioma and a center with a multidisciplinary approach to treatment.

His clinical interest also includes esophageal cancer, lung cancer and a wide variety of other respiratory illnesses.

He is board certified in general surgery and thoracic surgery. He earned his medical degree from Louisiana State University. He completed residencies at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and the University of Michigan.

He started his career as an assistant professor at the University of Missouri, where he worked as a cardiothoracic and transplant surgeon.

Patients in the Altoona area who previously traveled to Pittsburgh, Baltimore or New York for specialty care are now able to stay closer to home for treatment.

The Altoona branch includes a 16,000-square-foot facility and 28 medical oncology treatment bays. Patients receive the same high-quality care they would receive at the flagship facility in Pittsburgh.