High Hopes for New Mesothelioma Center in Maryland

Treatment & Doctors
Reading Time: 4 mins
Publication Date: 09/22/2015
Fact Checked
Our fact-checking process begins with a thorough review of all sources to ensure they are high quality. Then we cross-check the facts with original medical or scientific reports published by those sources, or we validate the facts with reputable news organizations, medical and scientific experts and other health experts. Each page includes all sources for full transparency.

Asbestos.com is the nation’s most trusted mesothelioma resource

The Mesothelioma Center at Asbestos.com has provided patients and their loved ones the most updated and reliable information on mesothelioma and asbestos exposure since 2006.

Our team of Patient Advocates includes a medical doctor, a registered nurse, health services administrators, veterans, VA-accredited Claims Agents, an oncology patient navigator and hospice care expert. Their combined expertise means we help any mesothelioma patient or loved one through every step of their cancer journey.

More than 30 contributors, including mesothelioma doctors, survivors, health care professionals and other experts, have peer-reviewed our website and written unique research-driven articles to ensure you get the highest-quality medical and health information.

About The Mesothelioma Center at Asbestos.com

  • Assisting mesothelioma patients and their loved ones since 2006.
  • Helps more than 50% of mesothelioma patients diagnosed annually in the U.S.
  • A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.
  • 5-star reviewed mesothelioma and support organization.
Learn More About Us


"My family has only the highest compliment for the assistance and support that we received from The Mesothelioma Center. This is a staff of compassionate and knowledgeable individuals who respect what your family is experiencing and who go the extra mile to make an unfortunate diagnosis less stressful. Information and assistance were provided by The Mesothelioma Center at no cost to our family."
Mesothelioma patient’s daughter
  • Google Review Rating
  • BBB Review Rating

How to Cite Asbestos.com’s Article


Povtak, T. (2022, November 22). High Hopes for New Mesothelioma Center in Maryland. Asbestos.com. Retrieved January 31, 2023, from https://www.asbestos.com/news/2015/09/22/new-mesothelioma-center-maryland-joseph-friedberg/


Povtak, Tim. "High Hopes for New Mesothelioma Center in Maryland." Asbestos.com, 22 Nov 2022, https://www.asbestos.com/news/2015/09/22/new-mesothelioma-center-maryland-joseph-friedberg/.


Povtak, Tim. "High Hopes for New Mesothelioma Center in Maryland." Asbestos.com. Last modified November 22, 2022. https://www.asbestos.com/news/2015/09/22/new-mesothelioma-center-maryland-joseph-friedberg/.

Thoracic surgeon Dr. Joseph Friedberg spent almost a decade building a well-respected mesothelioma program at the Abramson Cancer Center in Philadelphia.

He is building an even better one now in Baltimore.

The University of Maryland recently named Friedberg director of its new Mesothelioma and Thoracic Oncology Treatment and Research Center, expecting to create a flagship that is second to none.

“We intend to make this the most comprehensive program in the country for mesothelioma,” Friedberg told Asbestos.com. “It might be presumptuous to just say ‘we’re the best,’ although I hope that’s the case. I like to think we will be. The resources here are spectacular. It’s a step above and beyond what I had before [at Abramson].”

Although the Maryland School of Medicine has treated mesothelioma patients successfully for years, the newly rebranded multidisciplinary center linking research, treatment and education creates a more comprehensive approach to benefit present and future patients.

Program Covers All Fields

The center offers a mesothelioma focus in many fields involved in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, including:

  • Pathology
  • Immunology
  • Surgical oncology
  • Radiation oncology
  • Pulmonary medicine
  • Gastroenterology
  • Oncology nursing
  • Palliative care
  • Psychiatry
  • Nutrition
  • Occupational medicine
  • Integrative medicine

Patients will have access to specialists from various disciplines relevant to their care. The specialists will meet weekly to discuss each patient’s diagnosis and immediately implement individualized treatment plans using the latest techniques.

“One of the reasons I came here was to establish this center. All the pieces were here to make it work. And the spirit of collaboration is better than anything I’ve ever seen,” Friedberg said. “It’s exciting to be part of this. Mesothelioma is a disease that is in desperate need of better treatments. And we hope to provide those.”

Friedberg Pioneered Key Mesothelioma Surgery

Friedberg left the Abramson Cancer Center and joined the Maryland School of Medicine early in 2015. He is skilled thoracic surgeon who specializes in pleural mesothelioma. As a research scientist, he focuses on developing innovative treatments.

He was a pioneer in the development of the lung-sparing   pleurectomy/decortication surgery for pleural mesothelioma. He has long advocated for early, regular screening for those who worked with asbestos, the leading cause of mesothelioma. He has spoken to patients for years about the importance of finding an experienced specialist for treatment.

Friedberg will partner with Dr. H. Richard Alexander, a long-time authority on peritoneal mesothelioma, giving the new center a proven specialist in each major type of the disease. Most cancer centers do not have both.

Pleural mesothelioma, which is more common, typically begins in the thin lining surrounding the lungs and then spreads throughout the chest cavity. Peritoneal mesothelioma involves the abdominal cavity and the lining that surrounds it.

Other key staff members will include radiation oncologist Dr. Minesh Mehta, medical director of the Maryland Proton Treatment Center; and Dr. Martin Edelman, director of the University of Maryland School of Medicine’s Thoracic Oncology department, whose research has focused on developmental therapeutics.

Integrative Medicine Included

Friedberg believes the center’s integrative medicine department, which unites conventional medicine with complementary therapies to treat the whole person, is just one example of what will set the center apart from other mesothelioma programs in the country.

“We really have a comprehensive approach. There is no one good treatment for this disease. You need a team approach with different disciplines and everyone committed to make it work,” he said. “We have that here.”

The University of Maryland School of Medicine has been a national leader in innovative care for lung and esophageal cancers. It also is one of the country’s top biomedical research institutions.

The new center will work closely with the UM Greenebaum Cancer Center, which has provided specialized cancer care since 1965.

“It would be hard to be more comprehensive than we are, to have more specialists to look at each case, in the same room at the same time, and come up with an integrative plan for a mesothelioma patient,” Friedberg said. “There is hope for this disease. Regardless of the stage a patient is in, we can help them.”

Medically Reviewed by Top Mesothelioma Doctors
Free Mesothelioma Guide