Mesothelioma Doctor

A doctor who has decided to become a specialist Mesothelioma has a license to practice medicine and also have passed a special examination of this disease. There are different types of specialists that focus on different aspects of this cancer. Thorax surgical oncologists, medical oncologists and radiation oncologists, and all will work together to develop the best plan for action treatment and care. 
Not only specialists involved, but other health professionals are also involved. Pathology expert, respiratory therapists, social workers and psychiatrists can all assist in tackling this aggressive form of cancer.

Mesothelioma Doctors

You probably don’t recognize the name of the late Dr. Irving J. Selikoff, M.D. If you are under treatment by a specialist for asbestos cancer however, chances are good that your physician is very familiar with Selikoff’s work; some may even have worked with or studied under him.
Irving Selikoff was one of the pioneers a field of medicine that is fast becoming a specialty all its own; the diagnosis and treatment of asbestos-related diseases. Current federal and state laws that regulate asbestos are due largely to Selikoff’s work at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. The Irving J. Selikoff Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine, where many first responders of the World Trade Center / September 11th disaster are treated, is named in his honor.

Although the connection between asbestos and lung diseases such as mesothelioma had been known for over half a century by the time Selikoff turned his attention to the subject, he was among the first in the U.S. to undertake a serious study of asbestos diseases and make such information widely available to the public.

Because asbestos affects the body in different ways, many of which spread beyond the lungs, an effective asbestos doctor must be trained and have experience in several different specialties. Such doctors should have a thorough knowledge of oncology, respiratory system and thoracic surgery. Of course, it is a rare physician that knows everything necessary in order to treat asbestos diseases, not all of which are malignant or cancerous. Therefore, most asbestos patients are treated by a team of physicians, each of whom brings their own specialty to the table.

Such a team will usually consist of a thoracic surgeon, a lung specialist and a pathologist as well as one’s primary care physician. If the disease is lung cancer or malignant mesothelioma, the team will include an oncologist and very likely a radiologist as well.

Although asbestosis – a non-malignant scarring of the lung – is far more common, most of the top physicians in the U.S. specializing in asbestos diseases today work in the field of oncology.

In this section of, you will find biographical information on and curricula vitae of the foremost asbestos treatment physicians currently practicing around the country. Some of the people you will learn about on these pages include Dr. Eric Vallieres of the Swedish Cancer Institute of Seattle, Washington, and Dr. W. Roy Smythe of the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. These physicians have developed multi-disciplinary approaches in the treatment of asbestos-related lung cancers and are at the cutting edge of asbestos cancer research, and are only two of the many men and women of medical science of whom you can read more about on this part of


The following physicians are specialists in the treatment of malignant mesothelioma. You will find links to their web sites, when available and to some of their published articles.They are listed in no particular order with no particular endorsement.

Mesothelioma is typically treated by an interdisciplinary team of doctors rather than by a single physician. You may run into professionals called oncologists, thoracic surgeons, and pulmonologists. Glossary of members of a thoracic oncology care team. More on choosing your mesothelioma doctor.

W. Roy Smythe, MD
Professor and Chairman/Department of Surgery, Texas A&M University System Health Sciences Center, Scott & White Hospital, Temple, TX
Phone: 254-724-2595
Dr. Smythe is currently accruing patients for a protocol involving extrapleural pneumonectomy and Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT). (Click here for an abstract of this trial).

David C. Rice, M.B., B.Ch., B.A.O.; F.R.C.S.I
Associate Professor, Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Division of Surgery/The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
Phone: (713) 794-1477
Dr. Rice’s main area of clinical interest lies in the surgical management of mesothelioma. In collaboration with colleagues in Radiation Oncology, he has furthered research into intensity modulated radiation therapy after surgical resection of mesothelioma. His research has lead to improved ways of preoperative staging of mesothelioma, and he has participated in neoadjuvant trials of chemotherapy and novel targeted agent.

David J. Sugarbaker, MD
Chief, Division of Thoracic Surgery/Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA Chief, Department of Surgical Services/Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA
Phone: (617) 732-6824
Dr. Sugarbaker believes in aggressive treatment of pleural mesothelioma. He is a proponent of tri-modal therapy; extrapleural pneumonectomy, chemotherapy and radiation.
Click here for an article by Dr. David J. Sugarbaker that appeared in the The Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, January 1999 (12 pages in Adobe PDF format).

Lambros Zellos, MD, MPH
Attending Thoracic Surgeon; Clinical Co-Director of the International Mesothelioma Program/Brigham & Women’s Hospital/Dana Farber Cancer Institute Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
Phone: (617) 525-9657
Dr. Zellos is an Attending Thoracic Surgeon and the Clinical Co-Director of the International Mesothelioma Program. Dr. Zellos is a proponent of tailored multimodality therapy for each individual patient. Appropriate therapy may include surgery such as pleurectomy or extrapleural pneumonectomy with chemotherapy or radiation. Dr. Zellos has published several papers on multimodality therapy as well as methods to improve surgical techniques.

Valerie W. Rusch, FACS
Attending Thoracic Surgeon/Memorial-Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY
Phone: (212) 639-5873
Dr. Rusch is known for the treatment of pleural mesothelioma. She has published several papers comparing pleural decortication to extrapleural pneumonectomy.

Raja M. Flores, MD
Chief of Thoracic Surgery Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York, NY
Phone: (212) 241-9466 (ask for Lina)
Dr. Flores is currently the Principal Investigator on a clinical trial of neoadjuvant gemcitabine and cisplatin followed by extrapleural pneumonectomy and high dose radiation, as well as being involved in a trial of neoadjuvant Alimta/cisplatin, extrapleural pneumonectomy and high dose radiation. He has also compiled a 1,000 patient database to research areas of failure, and how to improve treatments for mesothelioma.

Paul H. Sugarbaker, MD, FACS, FRCS
Director, Surgical Oncology/Washington Cancer Institute, Washington, DC
Phone: (202) 877-3908
Dr. Sugarbaker is a specialist in the treatment of peritoneal mesothelioma using a combination of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.

Brian W. Loggie, MD
Professor of Surgery, Creighton University Medical School; Chief, Division of Surgical Oncology; Director of Cancer Center/Creighton University Medical Center, Omaha, NE
Phone: (402) 280-4100
Dr. Loggie specializes in the treatment of peritoneal mesothelioma and peritoneal carcinomatosis. His protocol, based on eligibility, involves surgical debulking in combination with intraperitoneal heated chemotherapy.

David L. Bartlett, MD
Professor of Surgery, Chief, Division of Surgical Oncology/UPMC Cancer Pavilion, Pittsburgh, PA
Phone: (412) 692-2852
Dr. Bartlett has particular expertise in the management of advanced, complex abdominal malignancies. He also has a research interest in treating advanced carcinomas in the peritoneal cavity, including peritoneal mesothelioma.

Claire F. Verschraegen, MD
Director, Clinical Trial Office and Investigational Drug Program/Cancer Research and Treatment Center, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM
Phone: (505) 272-4551
Dr. Verschraegen is currently conducting a front-line Alimta/gemcitabine trial for peritoneal mesothelioma patients. She also offers the following Phase I trials for patients who have already been treated with Alimta:
* Phase I Study of Capecitabine with Cisplatin and Irinotecan in Patients with Advanced Malignancies
* Phase I Study of Intravenous TZT-1027 and Gemcitabine, Administered on Day 1 and Day 8 of a Three Week Course in Patients with Advanced Solid Tumors
* Phase I Study of Flavoperidol in Combination with Gemcitabine and Irinotecan in Patients with Metastatic Cancer

David P. Mason, MD
Staff Surgeon, Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery/Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH
Phone: (216) 444-4053
Dr. Mason is a proponent of aggressive multimodality therapy for malignant mesothelioma. This includes extrapleural pneumonectomy, chemotherapy and radiation with Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT). Cleveland Clinic Foundation has a multidisciplinary Thoracic Oncology team with extensive experience and clinical trials in the management of malignant mesothelioma.

David M. Jablons, MD
Assistant Professor of Surgery Chief, General Thoracic Surgery/UCSF Mt. Zion Medical Center, San Francisco, CA
Phone: (415) 885-3882
Dr. Jablons treats pleural mesothelioma with a radical pleurectomy/decortication and is researching other therapies.

Lary A. Robinson, MD
Director, Division of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery Principal Thoracic Surgical Oncologist/H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Tampa, FL
Phone: (813) 972-8412
Dr. Robinson is a member of the multidisciplinary thoracic oncology group at H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center which evaluates and treats all stages of mesothelioma. He is also involved in clinical research programs for lung cancer and mesothelioma.

Craig W. Stevens, MD, PhD
Division Chief, Radiation Oncology/H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute/Tampa, FL
Phone: (813) 972-8424

Robert N. Taub, MD
Professor of Clinical Medicine, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons/New York Presbyterian Hospital, New York, NY

Phone: (212) 305-4076
Dr. Robert Taub is a medical oncologist who directs the Connective Tissue Oncology Program at the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, where there are a number of ongoing multimodality studies of patients with pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma. The Center is based at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. Click here for a press release announcing a new multimodality study..

Daniel Sterman, MD
Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine/University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA
Phone: (215) 614-0984
Dr. Sterman is the co-author of several informative articles on treatment and clinical trials for pleural mesothelioma.

Eric Vallieres, MD
Associate Professor of Surgery, Section of General Thoracic Surgery/University of Washington Medical Center, Seattle, WA
Phone: (206) 598-4477
Dr. Vallieres uses a multidisciplinary approach to thoracic malignancies and related clinical trials. Please see Medical Journal & News Articles for an article Dr. Vallieres co-authored on Induction Chemotherapy, Extra Pleural Pneumonectomy And Adjuvant Fast Neutron Radiationtherapy For Pleural Mesothelioma (Dmm).

Stephen C. Yang, MD
Chief, Division of Thoracic Surgery/Associate Professor of Surgery and Oncology/Surgical Director, Lung Transplantation Program/Director, Thoracic Oncology Program/Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, MD
Phone: (410) 614-3891

Mark J. Krasna, MD
Medical Director of the Cancer Institute at St. Joseph Medical Center/Towson, MD
Phone: (410) 427-2220
Dr. Krasna is the former Head of the Division of Thoracic Surgery, Professor of Surgery and Associate Director for Surgical Oncology in the Greenebaum Cancer Center at the University of Maryland Medical Center.
Dr. Krasna is a leader in the development of thoracic surgery. He is the author of the first textbook on thoracoscopic surgery and has instructed surgeons worldwide on his techniques.

David H. Harpole, Jr., MD
Associate Professor of Surgery, Thoracic Oncology Program/Assistant
Professor of Pathology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC
Phone: (919) 668-8413

Harvey Pass, MD
Professor and Chief, Division of Thoracic Surgery and Thoracic Oncology, Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery/NYU School of Medicine and Comprehensive Cancer Center/New York, NY
Phone: (212) 263-7417

Gregory P. Kalemkerian, MD
Co-Director of Thoracic Oncology/University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center/Ann Arbor, MI
Phone: (734) 936-5281
Dr. Kalemkerian directs the multidisciplinary thoracic oncology clinic at the University of Michigan Cancer Center, in addition to collaborating with the thoracic oncology team at Karmanos Cancer Institute, to develop novel clinical trials for mesothelioma patients.

Joseph S. Friedberg, MD
Chief of Thoracic Surgery/University of Pennsylvania at Presbyterian, Philadelphia, PA
Phone: (215) 662-9195
Dr. Friedberg is currently the Principal Investigator on a trial of photodynamic therapy for pleural malignancies, and also on a trial combining Alimta/cisplatin, surgery and XRT.

Robert Cameron, MD
UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA
Phone: (310) 794-7333
The list of physicians above are specialists in mesothelioma and treat it exclusively.

Sources for information on this page: medical conventions, personal contact with oncologists, websites of institutions where specialists work
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Choose Your Mesothelioma Doctor

One of the most important concerns is finding doctor who you can trust. You will want to evaluate the doctor's expertise while also getting comfortable with the head of a team charged with trying to save your life. Here are some questions to ask:

How many cases of mesothelioma has this doctor treated in his or her career? Have any of these cases been recent?
What types of mesothelioma does this doctor treat? Has he or she managed any cases of my particular subtype?
What treatments does this doctor typically use to treat mesothelioma?
Is this doctor prepared to treat my cancer if it spreads to other parts of my body?
Does this doctor support any supplemental types of therapy in addition to direct medical intervention?
Does the facility this doctor is associated with offer access to any clinical trials? Can the doctor help me sign up for any that I might qualify for?
There are also some broad considerations that you should discuss with a potential doctor to make sure that the physician will be a good fit for you. These questions include:
How many years has this doctor been practicing?
Do I want this doctor to make decisions for me or simply offer me options?
Will this doctor respect my choices and address all of my concerns?
Can I openly communicate with this doctor?
Does this doctor accept my insurance?
Is it easy to travel to this facility for all of my appointments?

Nationwide Mesothelioma Doctors List

Mesothelioma Doctor in Alabama
James W. Ballard, MD
4012 Greystone Drive
Birmingham, AL 35242

California Mesothelioma Doctor
Robert Cameron, MD
P. O. Box 951741
Los Angeles, California 90095–1741
Phone: 310–794–7333

David Jablon, MD
UCSF Mt. Zion Medical Center
2330 Post St., Suite 420
San Francisco, CA 94115

Theirry Jahan, MD
2356 Sutter, 7th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94115

Connecticut Mesothelioma Doctors
Mark Cullen, MD
Yale University School of Medicine
Occupational and Environmental
135 College Street, 3rd floor
New Haven, CT 06510–2483

Jack A. Elias, MD
Pulmonary Medicine
Yale Cancer Center

Michael Grey, MD
UConn Health Center
263 Farmington Avenue
Farmington, CT 06032

Bruce G. Haffty, MD
Therapeutic Radiology
Yale Cancer Center

Graeme L. Hammond, MD
Cardiothoracic Therapy
Yale Cancer Center

Michael Kashgarian, MD
Yale Cancer Center

Ronald Ponn, MD
Thoracic Surgeon
333 Orchard St., Suite 107
New Haven, CT 06511

Carrie A. Redlich, MD, M.P.H.
Occupational Medicine
Yale Cancer Center

Washington, DC Mesothelioma Doctors
Cesar A. Moran, MD
Department of the Army
Armed Forces Institute of Pathology
Washington, DC 20306

Paul Sugarbaker, MD
Sugarbaker Oncology Associates, P.C.
110 Irving St., NW
Washington, DC 20010
Phone: 202–877–3908

Mesothelioma Doctor in Florida
Lary A. Robinson, MD
H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute
At The University of South Florida
12902 Magnolia Dr.
Tampa, FL 33612

John Ruckdeschel, MD
H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center
Tampa, FL 33612–9497

Mesothelioma Doctor in Massachusetts
Richard Kraiden, MD
Pulmonary Pathologist
Massachusetts General Hospital
Boston, MA 02114

David Sugarbaker, MD
Dana Farber Cancer Institute &
Brighams & Womens Hospital
75 Francis Street
Boston, MA 02115

Michigan Mesothelioma Doctors
Harvey Pass, MD
Karmanos Cancer Institute
Detroit, MI

Gregory P. Kalemkerian, MD
Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Internal Medicine
Co-Director of Thoracic Oncology
Cancer Center Member
University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center/Ann Arbor, MI
Phone: (734) 936-5281

Mesothelioma Doctors in Minnesota
Arkadiusz Dudek, M.D., Ph.D.
Assistant professor of medicine
Phone: 612-624-0123

Nebraska Mesothelioma Doctor
Brian Loggie, MD
Creighton University Medical Center
Cancer Center, Suite 2321
601 N. 30th Street
Omaha, NE 68131
Phone: 402–280–5009

New York Mesothelioma Doctors
Manjit Bains, MD
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
1275 York Avenue
New York, NY 10021

Philippe A. Chihanian, MD
Mt. Sinai Hospital
5 East 98 St.
New York, NY 10029

David Ilson, MD
Borys Mychalczak, MD
Sloan–Kettering Cancer Center
New York, NY

Valerie Rusch, FACS
Memorial Sloan–Kettering Cancer Center
1275 York Avenue
New York, NY 10021
Phone: 212–639–5873

Stephen Rush, MD
North Shore University Hospital
Manhasset, NY

Roman Perez–Soler, MD
NW York University Kaplan Cancer Center
550 First Avenue
New York, NY 10016

Robert N. Taub, MD
Professor of Clinical Medicine, Program Director
Columbia–Presbyterian Hospital
Atchley Pavilion Room 907
161 Fort Washington Ave.
New York, NY

North Carolina Mesothelioma Doctor
David H. Harpole, Jr., MD
Associate Professor of Surgery
Director of General Thoracic Surgery (DUMC)
Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery (Durham VAMC)
Appointments (919) 684-3683

Pennsylvania Mesothelioma Doctors
Larry R. Kaiser, MD
University of Pennsylvania
4th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19104.
Phone: 215–662–7538

Joseph S. Friedberg, MD
Chief of Thoracic Surgery, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital
Philadelphia, PA
Phone: (215) 955-2996 or 1-800-JEFF-NOW (1-800-533-3669)

Rhode Island Mesothelioma Doctors
David Ettensohn, MD
Pulmonary Medicine
109 Beechwood Avenue
Pawtucket, RI

David Kern, MD
Memorial Hospital of RI
Occupational Health Clinic
111 Brewster Street
Pawtucket, RI 02860

John Pella, MD
St. Joseph Hospital
Pulmonary Fatima Unit
200 High Service Avenue
North Providence, RI 02904

S.T. Sambandan, MD
1180 Hope Street
Bristol, RI

Anthony Testa MD
100 Highland Avenue
Providence, RI 02904

South Carolina Mesothelioma Doctors
James Bradof, MD
406 Tiffany Park
Gaffney, SC

Spencer McCachren, MD
Thompson Cancer Center
Knoxville, TN

Texas Mesothelioma Doctors
W. Roy Smythe, MD
Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center
1515 Holcombe Blvd., Box 39, Rm. R7.2215
Houston, Texas 77030
Phone: 713–792–6933

Claire Verschraegen, MD
Department Of Clinical Investigation
University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center
1515 Holcombe Blvd., Box 39, Rm. R7.2215
Houston, Texas 77030
Phone: 713–792–7959

Washington Mesothelioma Doctors
Samuel Hammer, MD
700 Lebo Road
Bremerton, WA 98310

Eric Vallieres, MD
Box 356310
1959 NE Pacific
Seattle, WA 98195–6310
Phone: 206–543–3093