Obtaining the best medical treatment available is a priority for those diagnosed with mesothelioma. Often, the best approach to treating mesothelioma is an interdisciplinary one and can include oncologists, thoracic surgeons, and medical professionals from a variety of other disciplines. To assist you in your search for the best mesothelioma cancer treatment available, we have identified the following top mesothelioma experts in the country.
Professor of Surgery, Chief of General Thoracic Surgery, Director of the Lung Institute
Baylor College of Medicine
The Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery
One Baylor Plaza, Mail Stop BCM 390
Houston, TX 77030
(713) 798-MESO (6376)
Chief of General Thoracic Surgery and Director of the Lung Institute at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Dr. David Sugarbaker has long been at the center of malignant mesothelioma research. A graduate of Cornell University Medical Center and a Professor of Surgery at Baylor, Sugarbaker – one of the country’s most renowned mesothelioma experts – is best known for developing and promoting the multi-modal approach to treating mesothelioma. This approach – which includes extrapleural pneumonectomy as well as chemotherapy and radiation – has done much to improve the survival rate for mesothelioma patients.
Dr. Sugarbaker also founded the International Pleural Mesothelioma Program, which is a worldwide research and clinical project that focuses on finding new and better treatments for pleural mesothelioma, the most common form of the disease. As the founder and coordinator of this program, Dr. Sugarbaker lectures extensively about the disease, both at meetings and workshops for medical professionals as well as for gatherings of mesothelioma patients and their families.
New York, NY
Director of the Division of Thoracic Surgery at NYU Langone Medical Center, Dr. Harvey Pass is considered an expert in the treatment of a number of malignant lung diseases, including mesothelioma. Formerly with the National Cancer Institute (NCI), Pass continues his relationship with the NCI and NCI-funded research work in his role as director of the Bellevue Hospital Laboratory, which is home to the Mesothelioma Pathogenesis Program Project.
Dr. Pass has also conducted numerous clinical trials investigating the use of intraoperative photodynamic therapy for the treatment of malignant mesothelioma. He was also the first surgeon in the country to contemplate the use of this form of therapy for patients suffering from thoracic cancers. In addition, he lectures extensively about the dangers of asbestos use, is a keynote speaker at mesothelioma awareness events, and has been published in countless peer-related journals.
New York, NY
Chief of Thoracic Surgery at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, Valerie Rusch is considered one of the most notable women in her field and a renowned mesothelioma expert. Formerly on the staff at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas, Rusch focuses her research on the genetics of lung cancers like mesothelioma and centers not only on the treatment of thoracic cancers but also on ways to better detect them at an earlier stage.
In addition, Dr. Rusch has also chaired the Lung, Esophagus and Thoracic Malignancies Task Force and is the past-editor of The Oncologist magazine. As a writer, she has contributed to numerous peer-review journals. She is also co-editor of “Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma”, a book that represents a comprehensive overview on the subject of pleural malignancies, considered a must-read for those assisting patients with this form of mesothelioma.
San Francisco, CA
A lung cancer specialist and Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of California San Francisco, Dr. Thierry Marie Jahan is a graduate of George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C. Dr. Jahan is affiliated with the University of California San Francisco Medical Center where he specializes in the treatment of lung disease and lung cancers, including mesothelioma. He also holds a special interest in researching new and highly effective treatment options for his patients with lung disease. He is the recipient of a number of awards for both his academic and scientific work and is the author and co-author of several academic publications.
5300 Tallman Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98107
Dr. Howard Jack West is a leading expert in the treatment of pleural mesothelioma. He is medical oncologist and medical director of the Thoracic Oncology and Genitourinary Oncology Programs at Swedish Cancer Institute in Seattle, Washington. Dr. West earned his bachelor’s degree from Princeton University, a master’s degree in experimental biology from the University of Cambridge in the U.K. and completed an internship and residency at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
He developed his mesothelioma treatment expertise at the University of Washington Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and has repeatedly been recognized as a “Top Doctor” by Seattle Metropolitan Magazine. Dr. West has authored dozens of journal papers, invited manuscripts, book chapters and abstracts about mesothelioma and is founder of GRACE, the Global Resource for Advancing Cancer Education.
Dr. Anne Tsao is the Mesothelioma Program Director at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas where she specializes in treating mesothelioma and other thoracic cancers. A graduate of the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, Dr. Tsao is board certified in medical oncology and internal medicine.
Dr. Tsao has conducted much scientific research and has been involved in a large number of clinical trials aimed at identifying new mesothelioma treatment protocols. As a result of her research she has authored several scientific research articles. She is also the recipient of a number of awards including the American Society of Clinical Oncology Merit Award and the M.D. Anderson Achievement in Research Award.
New York, NY
Dr. Flores is considered a leading expert in the research and treatment of pleural mesothelioma. Currently Chief of Thoracic Surgery at the Mount Sinai Medical Center, Dr. Flores is a graduate of New York University and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He completed numerous internships and residencies including a Thoracic Oncology Clinical Research Fellowship and residency in cardiothoracic surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.
Dr. Flores has led many clinical trials involving the study and treatment of mesothelioma. A notable trial recently completed by Dr. Flores studied the use of neoadjuvant gemcitabine and cisplatin followed by extrapleural pneumonectomy and high dose radiation to treat malignant mesothelioma. Another clinical trial led by Flores was profiled in The Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery and focused on the largest series of cases comparing extrapleural pneumonectomy to pleurectomy decortication. Dr. Flores is a contributor for many peer-reviewed journals and is active in a number of professional organizations.
Dr. Paul Sugarbaker, Director of Surgical Oncology at the Washington Cancer Institute, is an expert in the treatment of peritoneal mesothelioma using a combination of cytoreductive surgery with intraperitoneal and systemic chemotherapy. Dr. Sugarbaker earned his Bachelor’s degree from Wheaton College and attended Cornell University Medical School. He also earned a Master’s degree in Immunology from Harvard University.
Dr. Sugarbaker has published a large number of scientific articles, books and reports and co-authored an article that appeared in The Oncologist entitled "Update on Chemotherapeutic Agents Utilized for Perioperative Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy." He is also board certified and a member of several medical societies.
A native of Belgium and currently a Professor of Medicine at the University of Vermont and Director of the Division of Hematology and Oncology at the Vermont Cancer Center, Dr. Claire Verschraegen is a leading expert in the treatment of peritoneal mesothelioma. Dr. Verschraegen has expertise in hematology and oncology and has been involved in numerous clinical trials to evaluate the effectiveness of new chemotherapy drugs on this rare type of mesothelioma cancer. She also specializes in gynecological and appendiceal cancer and devotes much of her time researching new and emerging drugs that may be used to treat these diseases as well.
Dr. Verschraegen is board certified in medical oncology and internal medicine in both America and Belgium. As a member of the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation, she has appeared as a keynote speaker at numerous symposiums and conferences. She is a Fulbright scholar and is the author of many peer-reviewed articles and scientific papers.
Dr. Hedy Lee Kindler is the Director of the Mesothelioma Program at the University of Chicago Medical Center, where she is also the medical director of gastrointestinal oncology. A graduate of Yale University with a bachelor's degree in biology, Dr. Kindler earned her medical degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo.
Dr. Kindler is a top cancer researcher and much of her work focuses on new and emerging drugs that are used to treat mesothelioma. Much of her research work has been inspired by her father, who died in 2001 from the asbestos cancer known as mesothelioma. Dr. Kindler's work has been widely published in many noted professional journals such as the Journals of Thoracic Oncology and the Annals of Oncology. In addition she serves on a number of mesothelioma interest group committees including the Science Advisory Board of MARF, the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation. Dr. Kindler is the recipient of numerous awards including a Research Award presented by the University of Chicago Cancer Research Center.
San Francisco, CA
A renowned expert on lung cancer and a leader in surgical therapies for thoracic cancers such as pleural mesothelioma, Dr. David Jablons is an Ada Distinguished Professor of Thoracic Oncology and Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine. He is also Chief of General Thoracic Surgery at the UCSF Medical Center at Mount Zion.
After earning his medical degree from Albany Medical College of Union University, Dr. Jablons completed a surgical residency at Tufts-New England Medical Center and a Cardiothoracic Fellowship at Cornell University Medical Center. He has authored numerous articles and research papers and receives many requests to lecture about his lung cancer research at conferences and meetings around the world. Dr. Jablons leads research at the UCSF Thoracic Oncology Laboratory on the molecular biology and genomics of lung cancer.
As Director of the Division of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute in Tampa, Florida, Dr. Lary Robinson is an expert in the evaluation and treatment of all stages of mesothelioma. Dr. Robinson earned his medical degree from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri and completed an internship at Duke University Medical Center. After serving as a flight surgeon for the U.S. Air Force he completed a Fellowship in Surgery Research and a residency in general and thoracic surgery at Duke University.
Dr. Robinson has served on the Science Advisory Board of the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation and works on numerous cancer research programs focused on advanced lung cancer and surgical treatment of mesothelioma. He had also authored and co-authored many books, articles and research papers and has been published in the Journal of Thoracic Oncology.
New York, NY
Medical Oncologist and Hematologist
Herbert Irving Pavilion, 9-907
161 Fort Washington Avenue
New York, NY 10032
Having received his medical degree from the Yale University School of Medicine and completing an Internship at TUFTS University New England Medical Center and a Fellowship at Yale, Dr. Robert Taub is the Director of the New York-Presbyterian/Columbia Mesothelioma Center. In this capacity he researches and develops chemotherapy and surgical treatment techniques to treat patients diagnosed with mesothelioma.
The Israel Cancer Research Fun, The Mount Sinai Hospital and the American Cancer Society have recognized and awarded his work in the areas of oncology, immunology, hematology and internal medicine. Dr. Taub has also authored numerous articles and research papers and mentors aspiring oncologists in the use of multidisciplinary approaches to treating mesothelioma.
Swedish Cancer Institute-Surgical Practices
1101 Madison Street, Suite 850
Seattle, WA 98104
Dr. Vallieres is the Surgical Director at the Swedish Cancer Institute in Seattle Washington and specializes in general thoracic surgery, lung cancer and pleural disease. He attended medical school at the Unitersite Laval Medical School in Quebec, Canada and completed a general surgery residency in Ontario at the University of Toronto. Dr. Vallieres also completed a Fellowship in Thoracic Surgery at the University of Bordeaux in France.
Dr. Vallieres participates in a number of professional organizations and leads several clinical research trials. He is also the author of many articles and abstracts related to lung cancer and pleural disease and a strong advocate for a multidisciplinary approach to treating these illnesses.
Professor, Surgery and Oncology
600 N. Wolfe Street Blalock 240
Baltimore, MD 21287
Chief of the Division of Thoracic Surgery, Surgical Director of the Lung Transplantation Program, and Surgical Director of the Thoracic Oncology Program at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Dr. Stephen C. Yang has strong expertise in diagnosing and treating diseases of the lung and chest including mesothelioma and lung cancer. He is also an Associate Professor of Surgery and Oncology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
Dr. Yang earned his medical degree from the Medical College of Virginia, completed his surgical residency at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, a Fellowship at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and a Cardiothoracic Fellowship at the Medical College of Virginia. He is board certified in thoracic surgery and is a member of the International Association for Minimally Invasive Cardiothoracic Surgery.
Dr. Yang has completed extensive research relating to the early diagnosis of lung cancer and esophageal cancer as well as multi-modal approaches to treating the diseases. He also has expertise with video-assisted thoracic surgery, robotic assisted thoracic surgery and lung volume reduction surgery for those diagnosed with emphysema. He is also the author of a large number of scientific articles and abstracts.
Dr. Harpole serves as the Director of the Lung Cancer Prognostic Research Laboratory and is the Vice Chair of Faculty Affairs at Duke University Medical Center. He is also an Associate Professor of Surgery and Assistant Professor of Pathology at the center.
Dr. Harpole earned his medical degree from the University of Virginia and completed a General Surgery Internship and a Thoracic Surgical Fellowship at the Duke University Medical Center. He also taught at Harvard Medical School and worked at Brigham and Women’s Hospital as an Associate in Thoracic Surgery. He also served as a consultant in thoracic surgery at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and was a Staff Thoracic Surgeon at West Roxbury Veterans Medical Center.
His clinical research focuses on general thoracic surgery, thoracoscopic surgery and benign and malignant lung disease treatment. Dr. Harpole is board certified in thoracic surgery and is a member of a number of professional and medical societies. He is also the author of numerous articles and publications.
Los Angeles, CA
Director, Thoracic Oncology
10780 Santa Monica Boulevard, Suite 100
Los Angeles, CA 90024
Currently serving as the Director of Thoracic Oncology at the University of California, Los Angeles Medical Center, Dr. Robert Cameron is also the Assistant Professor of Cardiothoracic and Surgical Oncology. Dr. Cameron earned his medical degree from UCLA where is also completed a General Surgery Residency. In addition, he completed an Oncology Fellowship at the National Cancer Institute as well as a residency in Cardiothoracic Surgery at Cornell-New York Hospital.
Dr. Cameron has conducted extensive research in the areas of thoracic oncology, thoracic pain management, video-assisted surgery, lung volume reduction surgery and immunology. He currently participates in a number of professional associations and serves as Chairman of the UCLA-Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Dr. W. Roy Smythe is the Surgical Department chair at Scott and White Healthcare in Temple, Texas. A graduate of theTexas A&M Health Science Center School of Medicine, Dr. Smythe specializes in cardiothoracic surgery and general thoracic surgery in treating cancers and other diseases affecting the lungs, including mesothelioma.
Dr. Smythe has conducted extensive research in the area of lung disease and has published a large number of scientific articles that have appeared in The American Association of Thoracic Surgery. He is also the recipient of a number of honors and awards including Best Doctors in America, and Consumers Research Council, Best Surgeons in America.
Roswell Park Cancer Institute
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center