Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center

Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center

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About The Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center

As a pioneer in South Florida healthcare, the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center in Miami brings together leading cancer specialists to provide multi-disciplinary health care and cutting-edge research.

There is expertise to handle — and research being done — at Sylvester for both peritoneal and pleural mesothelioma, the relatively rare cancers that are caused by asbestos exposure.

Part of the University of Miami Health System, Sylvester handles an estimated 1,300 inpatient admissions, treats more than 4,400 new cancer patients and performs 2,400 surgical procedures annually. There are 250 physicians and scientists, all working together in the fight against cancer. Virtually all forms of cancer can be treated at Sylvester, where many of the most advanced tools and latest treatment procedures are being utilized to create a wide range of success stories and cancer victories.

The mesothelioma team includes Dr. Dao Nguyen, who specializes in cardiothoracic surgery and has a specific interest in mesothelioma; thoracic surgeon Dr. Nestor Villamizar, who came from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston; and medical oncologist Dr. Raja Mudad.


Sylvester is the only South Florida facility to offer the novel hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemoperfusion (HIPEC) procedure. It is used to treat patients whose cancer has spread through the abdominal cavity. It is often used in cases of malignant peritoneal mesothelioma and is performed immediately after surgery to reduce the number of tumor cells.

“Clinical studies show HIPEC to be significantly more effective than surgery or chemotherapy alone, so we are able to offer these patients an improved prognosis and quality of life,” Moller said.

Sylvester is also one of only a handful of providers in the world using the NanoKnife, which targets small, hard-to-treat tumors in the liver, lungs and kidneys. It is minimally invasive and can destroy inoperable, soft-tissue tumors. It works by applying electrical energy, killing cancer cells while leaving healthy tissues unharmed.

Sylvester recently added the Accuray CyberKnife Robotic Radiosurgery System — the only one in Florida — which delivers concentrated doses of radiation with stunning precision.

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Research and Trials

Sylvester has a Viral Oncology Program, comprised of scientists and basic researchers, focused on studying the causes of viral-associated cancers. It focuses primarily on prevention and treatment.

The Food and Drug Administration also used research done at affiliated Miller School of Medicine to approve a new drug, brentuximab vedotin (Adcetris), for lymphoma patients who have exhausted treatment options.

At Sylvester, there are ongoing research programs focusing on bladder, breast, lung, prostate, and head and neck cancers. There also is extensive pediatric cancer research. There is a Clinical Trial Matching Service at Sylvester designed to match patients with trials being conducted both in South Florida and across the country.

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Senior Content Writer

Tim Povtak is an award-winning writer with more than 30 years of reporting national and international news. His specialty is interviewing top mesothelioma specialists and researchers, reporting the latest news at mesothelioma cancer centers and talking with survivors and caregivers.

Matt Mauney, Content Writer at
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Last Modified December 3, 2018

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