From Dr. Lary A. Robinson, M.D.
Dear Mr. Early,
Thank you for your letter of May 19, 1998 inquiring about our mesothelioma treatment program. At the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, we have a strong interest and experience in the evaluation and treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma of all stages.
Our thoracic oncology group evaluates patients with a multidisciplinary approach involving medical oncologists, pulmonologists, radiation oncologists, thoracic pathologists, thoracic radiologists, and thoracic surgeons. For the earlier stage 1 and stage 2 mesothelioma in patients with no prior therapy and in good condition, we favor an aggressive approach with surgical treatment (extrapleural pneumonectomy) followed by adjuvant chemotherapy and local radiation therapy. For more advanced mesothelioma or non-surgical candidates, we treat most patients with a chemotherapy protocol, possibly with adjuvant measures for palliation such a thoracoscopic talc poudrage. We are in the developmental stages of a systemic gene therapy program but this is not into clinical trials yet. The thoracic medical oncologists involved with our mesothelioma patients include Drs. Jack Ruckdeschel, Linda Garland, Scott Antonia, Charles Williams, and Gail Shaw. Our thoracic radiation oncologist is Dr. Henry Wagner. As a thoracic surgical oncologist, my own expertise lies with the surgical treatment of this disease, but I maintain a strong interaction with the medical members of our mesothelioma cancer team.
Here at the Moffitt Cancer Center, we have a strong interest in mesothelioma and any of us would be happy to see new patients or to consult by telephone and provide assistance in any way possible. Again, many thanks for your inquiry. If I can be of any future assistance, please feel free to call upon me or other members of the thoracic oncology program.
Lary A. Robinson, M.D.
Director, Division of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery