Johns Hopkins Medicine traces its roots to the end of the 19th century – a time preceding modern-day medical standards when most medical schools were little more than trade schools. The opening of the Johns Hopkins Hospital in 1889 and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1893 changed that by offering a greatly improved curriculum that incorporated bedside teaching and laboratory research. Johns Hopkins’ influence continued: the medical school was the first to admit women, the first to use rubber gloves to maintain a sterile environment in surgery, and the first to develop CPR. In later years, Johns Hopkins became the “birthplace” of several advanced medical fields, including neurosurgery, endocrinology and pediatrics.
Johns Hopkins’ advances in cancer research were just as plentiful. Researchers at the hospital were the first to determine that cancer was a genetic disease, leading to the first genetic tests for hereditary cancers. Johns Hopkins was the first hospital to map a cancer genome; since then, of the 75 cancers for which all genes have been sequenced, 68 have been sequenced at the Kimmel Center. The hospital was also the first to develop therapeutic cancer vaccines.
Much of this work has taken place at the Kimmel Cancer Center, which began operations in 1973. Shortly after its opening, the Center’s excellence was recognized by the National Cancer Institute, as the center was named one of the first “comprehensive cancer centers” in the nation. The Center’s influence has continued to grow, and in the past 12 years, Kimmel opened new facilities to match its reputation. The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Building, a clinical care cancer facility, opened in 1999, while the Bunting Blaustein Cancer Research Building, a research and teaching building, opened in late 2000. Finally, in 2006, the Koch Cancer Research Building opened its doors.
John Hopkins Medicine has a Lung Cancer Program through the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center that provides expertise in preventing, screening, diagnosing and treating lung cancers, including mesothelioma.
John Hopkins takes a multidisciplinary approach, pulling in a range of specialists to create an individualized treatment plan for each patient. From radiation oncologists to thoracic surgeons, palliative care professionals and other medical care staff, patients will receive expertise throughout their treatment journey and after.
Leaders at the Kimmel Cancer Center pride themselves not only on the most cutting-edge research but on making this newfound knowledge available to patients in the form of new treatments. New drugs and treatments developed in the Center’s labs are quickly used in clinical settings. On a more personal note, the Kimmel Center includes a Cancer Counseling Center and the Hackerman-Patz Patient and Family Pavilion, a space with 39 suites available for patients and their family members who come to the hospital from out of town. A program known as the Art of Healing, a unique arts and music program aimed at nurturing and comforting patients, is also an important part of the Center.
While nurturing the patient through the amenities offered at the center, the research being done within those same walls enables early detection. Their research involves looking for important cancer biomarkers that could aid early detection, as well as looking for and testing new mesothelioma drugs. Their main treatment for mesothelioma involves surgery (with non-invasive surgical options), radiation or chemotherapy, or a combination of the three for a multimodal treatment plan. Clinical trials may also be an option for eligible mesothelioma patients.
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- Top Hospital and Best Hospital recognitions from U.S. News & World Report
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