Cancer Center

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Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital provides elite cancer care for those suffering from Mesothelioma. Collaboration with Harvard Medical School and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have created the ideal facility for the diagnosis and treatment of those afflicted with life threatening cancer such as mesothelioma and other pleural conditions.

Within BWH, the world renown International Mesothelioma Program prides itself on their unsurpassed commitment to the most cutting-edge treatments for pleural mesothelioma that has proven to extend the life expectancy of its patients.

Established through the combining of several of Harvard’s most prestigious hospitals in 1980, BWH was the nation’s first all-maternity hospital in 1832. The hospital employs a rich and diverse body of over 14,500 professionals, including over 2,800 physicians and residents, 2,780 nurses, and over 950 researches.

With multiple locations throughout Boston and the surrounding metropolitan area, this facility admits approximately 45,000 inpatients a year.

For over 20 years, BHW has been praised enthusiastically by U.S. News & World Report, placing BHW on the distinguished “Honor Roll of America’s Best Hospitals” as one of the nation’s leading hospitals and medical attractions.


The International Mesothelioma Program is one of a kind in its advanced treatment of mesothelioma, offering over 300 consultations annually while treating over 170 patients. This has established the program as the largest of its kind in the world.

Dr. David Sugarbaker, a world renowned specialist in mesothelioma treatment, led IMP to excellence as the former chief thoracic surgeon at BHW.

Sugarbaker relentless commitment to his field led to his pioneering of the extrapleural pneumonectomy surgery to the treatment of those suffering from pleural mesothelioma. This groundbreaking procedure has become a frequent, effective strategy in extended the lives of thousands of individuals. His quest to advance treatment options brought him to serve as director of the Lung Institute at Baylor College of Medicine in 2014, despite his deep connection with Brigham and Women’s.

Dr. Raphael Bueno represents another indispensable asset to the IMP team. His focus and contribution to lung and esophageal cancers and experience in minimally invasive surgeries represent the high level of excellence exhibited at IMP. Sought after for his impressive expertise, he commenced his role as chief of the division of thoracic surgery to continue his passion for treating those afflicted with mesothelioma. Assisting him is Dr. Abraham Lebenthal, an exceptional surgeon who specializes in the advanced medical treatment of diseases associated with the gastroesophageal junction, lung cancer, and mesothelioma.

Under the belief that cooperation is essential to the process of recovery, the IMP treatment team holistically approaches all treatment options after considerable discussion. No treatment plan is the same, as each individual’s condition represents unique needs and attention. Our affiliated hospitals also contribute with specialists in patient care. Mesothelioma research has been greatly advanced by IMP, with significant findings in the expression of antigens and over-expressed genes.

The road to recovery begins with the successful and timely diagnosis of illness, followed by effective, personalized treatments, and a deep understanding and appreciation of patient outcomes.

The IMP is frequently esteemed as a leading center for mesothelioma research. This research is essential in the creation of new, more effective therapies and in the search for greater understanding of the nature of cancer. Since 1993, the research completed at IMP has led to numerous advances resulting in a variety of publications.

The Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center was created through the partnership between Brigham and Women’s and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in 2003. This center quickly became well known as one of the greatest cancer treatment services, due to the advanced, numerous resources of the joint efforts of both institutions.

Mesothelioma patients experience an unparalleled quality in care from some of the nation’s greatest cancer specialists between the collaborative efforts of both institutions.

This cooperation allows patients to receive the sum of multiple specialists’ analysis as they join forces in sharing indispensable knowledge and world class resources. Not only does this improve medical results, but empowers patients to make the most well informed decisions while interacting with their treatment team in one, simple visit. Brigham and Women’s is ideally located right by Dana-Farber.

Depending on their condition, patients frequently have appointments in both of these venues. For example, patients who are being cared for at Brigham and Women’s IMP often chose to have surgery Dana-Farber, should it be necessary. Traditional treatment options are also present, such as radiation therapy, palliative care, and other miscellaneous post-surgical care.

The Yawkey Center for Cancer Care through Dana-Farber treats most patients in need of chemotherapy, or other treatments that do not require overnight visits. For those volunteering, clinical trials typically immerse both locations.

The National Institutes of Health have continuously selected Brigham and Women’s as a top recipient of grants due to their internationally renown team of over 140 researchers contributing to innovations in translational, clinical, and population-based studies.


Their research attempts to improve the effectiveness in treatment of many different cancers, but focus intently on mesothelioma and lung cancer.

There have been numerous clinical trials for asbestos-related cancers completed at Brigham and Women’s.

Defactinib is an experimental drug that isolates mesothelioma stem cells that are responsible for tumors’ ability to become immune to chemotherapy as treatment is prolonged. Researchers believe that defactinib can reverse this resistance to chemotherapy and stop cancer growth. Its safety and effectiveness are the primary focus of its clinical research.

Another drug currently in clinical trials is Everolimus, a strong immunosuppressant that inhibits specific proteins involved in cancer growth. After observing its effectiveness for gastrointestinal tumors, the FDA approved its use in 2016. These studies are focused on everolimus’ ability to slow or stop the growth of pleural mesothelioma tumors and its safety in use as a second treatment option alongside chemotherapy.

Glutaminase Inhibitor CB-839 is used in treatment of various tumors alongside chemotherapy. It is used primarily with renal cell cancer, pleural mesothelioma, and triple-negative breast cancer. The inhibitor pinpoints the primary enzyme in glutamine, glutaminase, a destructive amino acid that promotes tumor growth and survival.

Pembrolizumab, or Keytruda, is being studied for its effective use against tumors immune to standard therapy. It enables the patient’s immune system to destroy the tumor cells without harming their cells in good health. The study being completed will include tests on anal carcinoma, lung cancer, and mesothelioma, among others.

Many completed clinical trials at BHW have improved our knowledge and treatment of lung cancer and mesothelioma. Some of these procedures include, pleurectomy and decortication immediately followed by intrathoracic heated cisplatin in treatment for malignant pleural mesothelioma, National Lung Screening Trial, and surgery aided with video in patients suffering from non-small cell lung cancer.

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