With a diagnosis of mesothelioma, it is often difficult to find a team of physicians who are familiar with the very rare disease.Â At Sloane- Kettering Cancer Center, they have assembled a team of specialists — surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists and basic scientists — who are dedicated to providing the best possible treatments for patients suffering from malignant mesothelioma.
The hospital’s surgeons have been some of the first to establish surgical approaches in the treatment of mesothelioma.Â Like many other hospitals, the best known approach to combating a disease of such caliber like mesothelioma, the team at Sloane- Kettering believes it’s best to use a multimodal approach for treatment. This means a combination of two or three of the conventional cancer treatments — chemotherapy, surgery and radiation therapy.
With a strong focus on communicating with the patient, answering questions and easing apprehension, Sloan-Kettering looks to treat a patient as a whole, and not just their disease. They offer a variety of emotional support classes that are designed to help patients, their caregivers and family members cope with the range of disease-related issues.
The hospital is a big name in mesothelioma research and clinical trials. With a compiled database of more than 1,000 patients who have been treated for malignant pleural mesothelioma at their center, the valuable information gained from the patients has helped to mold their current treatment choices.
Ongoing research trials regarding the safety and efficacy of intensity — modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), a type of radiation therapy that allows for a targeted radiation to be administered directly to the pleura, is being assessed at the hospital.
Additionally, the medical oncologist team has led a national study assessing the role of chemotherapy before extrapleural pneumonectomy and radiation for patients with early-stage disease.
About the Hospital
Sloan-Kettering is the world’s oldest and largest private cancer center.Â Founded in 1884, the hospital has devoted more than a century to caring for patients and searching for new and innovative treatments for those suffering from cancer and other diseases. Among many other awards, New York Magazine’s 2011 Best Doctors List highlights seventy-one doctors from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.