UCLA Jonsson’s World-Renowned Mesothelioma Program
Situated in the heart of Los Angeles is UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, which U.S. News & World Report rates as the “Best Medical Center” in the western United States as well as one of the nation’s best three hospitals.
As this University of California Los Angeles hospital is part of the University of California family, doctors and patients alike have direct access to a world-class medical center and research and teaching university, including state-of-the-art facilities, tools and equipment.
Through the Thoracic Oncology Program and the Division of Cardiac and Thoracic Surgery within UCLA’s world-renowned Lung Cancer Program, patients with mesothelioma, lung cancer and related thoracic malignancies are provided a team of specialists and support staff that collaborates to evaluate each patient’s case and develop a personalized treatment plan to deliver the best treatment possible.
Among the members who treat mesothelioma are:
- Robert Cameron, M.D., thoracic surgeon, affiliated with the Thoracic Oncology Program; the Division of Cardiac and Thoracic Surgery; the Lung Cancer Program; and several other related departments, with such specialties as mesothelioma, lung cancer, thoracic cancer and minimally invasive procedures
- Mary Maish, M.D., thoracic surgeon, affiliated with the Thoracic Oncology Program and the Division of Cardiac and Thoracic Surgery, with clinical interests in esophageal, lung and mesothelioma cancer, as well as minimally invasive surgery, thoracic cancer and related conditions
- Jay Lee, M.D., thoracic surgeon and surgical director of the Thoracic Oncology Program, specializing in advanced therapies for the detection and treatment of mesothelioma, lung and esophageal cancers
In terms of treatment options for lung cancer and mesothelioma, patients have direct access to a wide array of services and programs, including surgical procedures, chemotherapy/targeted therapy, radiation therapy, clinical trials and the Thoracic Oncology Program tumor board and clinic.
Research and Clinical Excellence at UCLA Cancer Center
As with any top-notch cancer treatment center, research is crucial, including laboratory-based findings, FDA-approved treatments and psychosocial and supportive care. The UCLA Lung Cancer Program is actually one of the nation’s seven institutions awarded the National Cancer Institutes’s Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPORE), a grant which promotes collaborative, interdisciplinary translational cancer research.
These researchers were responsible for the development of several successful targeted cancer therapies from science conducted at UCLA laboratories, including the lung cancer drug Tarceva (erlotinib). Other notable pharmaceutical developments have also been attributed to researchers across many disciplines when at UCLA, including drugs for leukemia and colorectal, lung and breast cancers.
Every year the institution’s 240-plus physicians and scientists handle more than 20,000 patient visits. This institution is hailed for its commitment to advancing the fields of cancer education and research, and for developing conventional and advanced cancer treatments.
Today JCCC is one of the nation’s largest “Comprehensive Cancer Centers.” This designation, which is presented by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), is offered to those institutions that maintain the highest standards of excellence in patient care, education, basic science, clinical research and cancer prevention.
Mesothelioma Clinical Trials at UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center
- A randomized phase III clinical trial that will evaluate the intrapleural delivery of a novel gene therapy drug — interferon alpha-2b — in combination with chemotherapy and the anti-inflammatory drug celecoxib for patients whose standard treatment has failed.
- A randomized phase III clinical trial of an enzyme — ADI-PEG 20 — targeting an amino acid that helps fuel mesothelioma tumor growth. It will be used in combination with chemotherapy and measured against a placebo.
- A phase I clinical trial to study the tolerability, safety and anti-tumor activity of XmAb20717 — an antibody targeting a specific protein that fuels tumor growth — in patients with selected advanced solid tumors, including mesothelioma.
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