Miami Cancer Institute Has Mesothelioma Experts
The Miami Cancer Institute is part of Baptist Health and involves a team of thoracic surgeons, medical oncologists and radiation oncologists with extensive experience in treating mesothelioma.
“There is reason to be hopeful coming here,” radiation oncologist Dr. Matthew Hall told The Mesothelioma Center at Asbestos.com. “Patients would be well served to see a team that is not only knowledgeable and experienced, but one that is exploring novel treatment strategies.”
Pencil-Beam Proton Therapy Offered at Miami Cancer Institute
Mesothelioma treatment at the center may include pencil-beam delivery of proton therapy, the finest, most exact radiation treatment available in the world.
There are an estimated 30 cancer centers throughout the United States using proton therapy, but only a select few doing it with pencil-beam scanning, which allows direct visualization of the tumor and improves the way mesothelioma is treated.
“The advent of proton therapy not only has increased the sophistication by which we can treat patients, but also increased the potential number of patients who may benefit,” Hall said. “There are new strategies being pioneered that we are equipped to provide, offering significant advantage to this patient population.”
Instead of traditional radiation therapy, used mostly for palliative purposes, proton therapy can increase survival times and reduce or eliminate dangerous side effects.
Miami Cancer Institute Pioneering Tumor Treating Fields
The Miami Cancer Institute in 2019 also became one of the first mesothelioma cancer centers in the country to offer the novel Tumor Treating Fields device that was recently approved by the FDA for pleural mesothelioma.
The treatment, which is used in combination with chemotherapy, works by disrupting mesothelioma tumor cell division through electric fields tuned to specific frequencies.
It is used for patients with inoperable, locally advanced stage disease as a complementary strategy to the standard of care.
“It’s important for us to try and improve outcomes, not only by improving surgery and radiation, but by exploring novel systemic therapies and novel strategies,” Hall said. “Historically, this is a very difficult cancer to treat. Hopefully, we can change the landscape for patients with mesothelioma.”
Occupational Diseases Program Available at Miami Cancer Institute
The mesothelioma program in Miami includes thoracic surgeons Dr. John DeRosimo and Dr. Mark Dylewski; medical oncologists Dr. Federico Albrecht, Dr. Paul Kaywin and Miguel Villalona Calero; and radiologists Dr. Minesh Mehta, Dr. Rupesh Kotecha and Hall.
The program includes access to the Occupational and Environmental Medicine Program at nearby South Miami Hospital.
It is designed to monitor those with longtime occupational exposure to asbestos, the primary cause of mesothelioma.
Early diagnosis is critical for successful treatment of mesothelioma, which will involve a personalized approach that could include a combination of therapies.
The Miami Cancer Institute has a survivorship program with a team that emphasizes recovery, wellness and potential disease recurrence. Post-treatment screenings and consultations are scheduled regularly.
Mental health and integrative medicine programs also are available for patients.
The institute treats 67 different types of cancer and is part of the Baptist Health South Florida Centers of Excellence, which includes hospitals and outpatient facilities throughout Miami-Dade, Broward and Monroe counties.
Mesothelioma Clinical Trials at Miami Cancer Institute
- A phase II clinical trial measuring the effectiveness of niraparib on select cancers that include the BAP1 gene mutation, which often happens with pleural mesothelioma.
- A phase II clinical trial studying the use of nivolumab (Opdivo) and ipilimumab (Yervoy), an immunotherapy combination, for rare tumors such as mesothelioma.