Virtual Symposium to Focus on Mesothelioma Treatment Advances

Treatment & Doctors

Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center of South Florida will host its free virtual First Miami International Mesothelioma Symposium on November 6, 2021.

The Mesothelioma Program at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center has grown to become one of America’s leaders in this specialized field, attracting a wide range of expertise for its upcoming virtual symposium.

Mesothelioma is such a rare disease that we really have to bring in experts from around the world to get a true picture of what’s coming next. And I think we’ve done that with our program,” medical oncologist Dr. Estelamari Rodriguez, Symposium co-chair, told The Mesothelioma Center at “Our goal is to raise the level of care for all patients.”

Global Presenters

Co-chairs of the event, all from the University of Miami, are thoracic surgeon and mesothelioma specialist Dr. Nestor Villamizar; medical oncologist Dr. Gilberto Lopes, associate director for Global Oncology; and Dr. Rodriguez, co-lead of the Thoracic Site Disease Group.

Along with the multidisciplinary staff at the University of Miami’s Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, featured speakers and panelists will include some world-renowned mesothelioma experts.

Among them:

Thoracic surgeon Dr. Raphael Bueno, who followed legendary Dr. David Sugarbaker as executive director of the Mesothelioma Program at Brigham & Women’s Hospital and Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.

Dr. Dean Fennell, mesothelioma specialist and chairman of Thoracic Medical Oncology at University of Leicester and University Hospitals of Leicester, United Kingdom.

Dr. Anna Nowak, vice chancellor, Health and Medical Research, at University of Western Australia, Perth.

Dr. Aaron Mansfield, thoracic medical oncologist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, who played a significant role in the clinical trials that led to the latest Food and Drug Administration immunotherapy treatment approval for unresectable pleural mesothelioma.

“There is a lot of movement with this disease today, a lot of changes,” Dr. Rodriguez said. “We want to bring everyone up to speed, what the standards are today, and what’s on the horizon for tomorrow.”

Doctors and Patients Attending

One aim of the Symposium is to not only spotlight the most promising emerging treatments, but to share vital information with medical professionals who rarely see this type of cancer. Inexperience with mesothelioma and unfamiliarity with the latest treatment developments can lead to delays in receiving the best treatment options and even initial misdiagnosis.

From the staff at the Sylvester Cancer Institute:

Dr. Diana Molinares will speak about mesothelioma symptom management and survivorship.

Surgical oncologist Dr. Mecker Moller will address the latest surgical approach, which includes HIPEC (hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy), in treating peritoneal mesothelioma.

Dr. Rodriguez will report on the growing role of neoadjuvant treatments that have allowed more patients to undergo potentially-curative surgery.Radiation oncologist Dr. Alan Dal Pra will present the latest developments in radiation treatment for pleural mesothelioma.

Immunotherapy Will Be Featured

Dr. Fennell will speak on the personalization of mesothelioma treatment in the United Kingdom. Dr. Mansfield will focus on the genomics and epigenetics of treatment.

Thoracic oncologist Dr. Azam Ghafoor, from the National Cancer Institute, will focus primarily on the growing status of immunotherapy and moving away from past reliance on chemotherapy.

Dr. Gilberto de Lima Lopes from the Sylvester Cancer Center will open the program, speaking on the global burden of Mesothelioma.

“We’re proud of the multidisciplinary approach that has worked well for us [at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center]. We’re equipped here to handle the complexity of care required to help patients from diagnosis through treatment and survival,” Dr. Rodriguez said. “We want to share that knowledge to help others everywhere.”

The virtual Symposium is free and requires only online registration.

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