Top Mesothelioma Treatment Centers

Mesothelioma treatment centers are specialized medical facilities for patients with mesothelioma cancer. Many of the top cancer centers are accredited by a recognized organization, such as the National Cancer Institute, which indicate that they meet high standards of quality and care.

Some of the benefits of choosing a mesothelioma treatment center include:

  • Experience: The specialists working at these cancer centers see a higher number of mesothelioma patients than other doctors. This experience can lead to a quicker diagnosis and more effective treatment plan.
  • Multidisciplinary Approach: When experts from different specialties work together to provide comprehensive care, the patient receives personalized treatment and experiences fewer complications. Studies have shown this approach can improve survival rates and quality of life.
  • Advanced Treatment Options: Top mesothelioma cancer centers offer the latest treatments and clinical trials. Recent U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved mesothelioma treatments such as Tumor Treating Fields and immunotherapy drugs like Keytruda were first tested in clinical trials.
  • Support Services: Many cancer centers offer specialized support, such as palliative care and counseling, to help patients and loved ones cope with the challenges of a mesothelioma diagnosis.

It’s important to remember that not all mesothelioma cancer centers are the same. Do your own research and choose a center that has experience treating mesothelioma. It’s also important to consider factors such as location and insurance coverage when deciding where to receive treatment.

Brigham and Women’s Hospital
75 Francis St, Boston, MA 02115
  • Year Built: 1832
  • Number of Beds: 793 beds
  • Number of Physicians: 5
Lung Institute at Baylor College of Medicine
6620 Main St Suite 1325 Houston, TX 77030
  • Year Built: 1969
  • Number of Physicians: 7
Abramson Cancer Center at Penn Medicine
3400 Spruce St, Philadelphia, PA 19104
  • Year Built: 1973
  • Number of Beds: More than 70,000 outpatient visits
  • Number of Physicians: 8
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
450 Brookline Ave, Boston, MA, 02215
  • Year Built: 1947
  • Number of Beds: 12,000 new cancer patients per year
  • Number of Physicians: 3
UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center
10833 Le Conte Ave Los Angeles, CA 90024
  • Year Built: 1960s
  • Number of Beds: 20,000 patient visits each year
  • Number of Physicians: 3
UChicago Medicine
5841 S Maryland Ave, Chicago, IL 60637
  • Year Built: 1927
  • Number of Beds: 532 beds in the Medical Center
  • Number of Physicians: 7
MD Anderson Cancer Center
1515 Holcombe Blvd, Houston, TX 77030
  • Year Built: 1941
  • Number of Beds: 546 beds; 105,000 patient visits in 2010
  • Number of Physicians: 8
Moffitt Cancer Center
12902 Magnolia Drive, Tampa, FL 33612
  • Year Built: 1986
  • Number of Beds: 206 beds
  • Number of Physicians: 10
Mount Sinai Hospital
1 Gustave L. Levy Pl New York, NY 10029
  • Year Built: 1855
  • Number of Beds: 1,144 beds
  • Number of Physicians: 4
Hillman Cancer Center
5115 Centre Ave Pittsburgh, PA 15224
  • Year Built: 1985
  • Number of Beds: 72,000 patients per year
  • Number of Physicians: 6
Mayo Clinic Minnesota
200 1st St SW Rochester, MN 55905
  • Year Built: 1989
  • Number of Beds: 350,000 annually
  • Number of Physicians: 6
Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center
1 Barnes Jewish Hospital South St Louis, MO 63110
  • Year Built: 1902
  • Number of Beds: About 8,000 new cancer patients per year
  • Number of Physicians: 5

Mesothelioma specialists are located at treatment centers across the United States. Many patients have access to a top cancer center in their state. Others often travel to see a specialist because the benefits they provide are unmatched.

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What Is a Mesothelioma Treatment Center?

A mesothelioma treatment center is a specialized medical facility focusing on diagnosing, treating and managing mesothelioma. This rare and aggressive form of cancer typically affects the lung or abdomen lining. Primary care physicians and general oncologists often don’t have the knowledge or resources to diagnose or provide specialized mesothelioma treatments.

Mesothelioma treatment centers offer a range of treatments, including surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and immunotherapy. They also provide supportive and palliative care to help manage symptoms and improve quality of life. These centers have multidisciplinary teams of highly trained doctors, nurses and other specialists experienced in treating mesothelioma.

The National Cancer Institute sets the standard for mesothelioma research and treatment. The NCI also designates the best hospitals based on the quality of patient care and satisfaction. These top cancer centers form the National Comprehensive Cancer Network. The 32 centers of the NCCN are held to the highest standards of effectiveness and accessibility. 

Importance of Choosing a Mesothelioma Specialty Center

Choosing a mesothelioma specialty center is vital for several reasons: avoiding a misdiagnosis, access to specialized care and extending survival.

Mesothelioma cancer is rare and difficult to treat. Most doctors seldom encounter the disease. A specialist is more likely to diagnose and provide the appropriate care for your cancer.

Specialized cancer centers offer multidisciplinary care. A multidisciplinary approach means a team of doctors specializing in different disciplines or areas of medicine. These teams meet regularly to discuss your personalized treatment plan.

This collaboration allows them to offer the most comprehensive cancer care possible. A complete treatment plan improves outcomes and extends survival for mesothelioma patients.

Mesothelioma Is Often Misdiagnosed

Mesothelioma symptoms are often general and mimic more common diseases. This leads many doctors to misdiagnose mesothelioma. A misdiagnosis can delay treatment and lead to cancer progression.

The best hospitals for mesothelioma know how to diagnose the disease early and accurately. A correct mesothelioma diagnosis from a specialized center allows prompt treatment. Specialists account for a patient’s medical background and history of asbestos exposure. Together, these factors often improve prognosis and extend life expectancy.

“Every patient should be offered a second opinion at a specialty center because that’s where the research is being done.”
Emily Ward
Pleural mesothelioma survivor treated at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in 2012

Mesothelioma Requires Specialized Treatment

Surgery, chemotherapy and radiation are integral to a multimodal treatment approach. Multidisciplinary teams at specialized mesothelioma cancer centers examine all aspects of a patient’s case and consider all treatment options when developing a treatment plan. 

Today’s best treatments for this cancer are specialized based on mesothelioma cell type, stage and other factors. Newer treatments include gene therapy, BAP1 targets or CAR T cells. Some of the latest options are only available through clinical trials at specialized cancer centers.

After detecting mesothelioma, a specialized center provides research-backed care. A 2023 clinical trial demonstrated that immunotherapy could benefit patients after surgery. The study found that Opdivo and Yervoy, two immunotherapy drugs approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for mesothelioma, led to a 6-month survival rate of 87%. The 12-month survival rate was 74.2% in pleural patients. 

In 2020, MD Anderson Cancer Center researchers in Houston published a study showing improved survival among women with peritoneal mesothelioma. Participants underwent specialized surgery with heated chemotherapy. Approximately 77.8% of women who received the therapy lived longer than five years. 

The Right Care Can Extend Your Life

Stage 4 mesothelioma life expectancy is approximately a year with treatment. Some people live for five years or more with treatment from a mesothelioma cancer center. Without treatment, the average is seven months.

A few dedicated centers treat patients who have lived for more than 10 years. Accessing expert care at specialized centers offers the best chance at extending mesothelioma life expectancy. 

Although there is no cure for mesothelioma, researchers believe mesothelioma will one day be more like a chronic illness. Ongoing research at specialty cancer centers nationwide makes that goal possible. Experimental new therapies are only available at these specialized facilities.

Doctor Jacques Fontaine and Doctor Virginia Wolf
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How to Choose the Right Cancer Center

As you decide on your treatment center, consider your treatment plan priorities. You may need to travel to access the best care. It would help to research accredited centers and whether your insurance covers those facilities. There’s no substitute for meeting with your doctor in person. Prepare questions ahead of time and decide whether to bring someone with you. 

One of the most notable signifiers of a top mesothelioma cancer facility is accreditation from the NCI Cancer Center Program or the Association of Community Cancer Centers. As of 2023, there are 71 NCI-accredited Cancer Centers. These cancer centers represent the top 4% of more than 1,500 cancer centers in the United States.

Mesothelioma centers of excellence can offer the treatments or clinical trials appropriate to your diagnosis. Consider whether you need a referral, the center’s support resources and insurance coverage. Other essential considerations include the treatment facility’s reputation, location and expected costs.  

Determine Your Treatment Plan Priorities

Your first decision about finding mesothelioma treatment near you may be whether you are willing to travel for treatment. If so, travel grants and financial aid for cancer patients can cover expenses such as food and lodging. Your cancer center should offer various treatment options, including surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy and targeted therapy. 

The center should also provide palliative care and access to the latest clinical trials. Doctors often point patients to emerging therapies and clinical trials for the latest treatments. These may include gene therapy, robotic surgery and immunotherapy. Specialized cancer centers offer more mesothelioma clinical trials specific to the disease than other facilities. 

Do Your Research

Look for a cancer center accredited by a recognized organization, such as the Commission on Cancer or the National Cancer Institute. Accreditation indicates that the center has met certain quality and patient care standards. Consider patient ratings and reviews through sites such as U.S. News & World Report. 

Ask your primary care physician for a referral to a mesothelioma doctor. They may be able to recommend a specialized center covered by your insurance. Some doctors or procedures may require pre-authorization. Consider getting a second opinion from another cancer center to confirm your diagnosis and treatment plan.

Meet Your Doctor and Ask Plenty of Questions

As you consult with mesothelioma specialists, get their recommendations on the best cancer centers for treatment. If possible, visit the cancer center to get a feel for the facility and meet with the medical staff. This can help you determine whether the center is a good fit for you and your needs.

Prepare a list of questions in advance based on your priorities. Some examples include:
  • Will I need more tests before treatment?
  • How much experience do you have treating mesothelioma?
  • What is the goal of treatment?
  • Are there programs available for financial aid?

Keep your documents organized and consider everything you want to discuss with your specialist. On the day of your visit, determine if you will bring a family member, friend or caregiver to the appointment. 

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Best VA Hospitals for Mesothelioma

Veterans represent a disproportionately high number of mesothelioma malignancy cases compared to the general public. The VA network includes hospitals specializing in mesothelioma treatment with excellent care on par with top treatment centers for pleural and peritoneal variants.

Once in the VA health care system, a veteran may seek treatment anywhere in the country. Primary care physicians and many other health care providers can provide a referral for specialized care at one of the VA’s best mesothelioma treatment centers.

VA Boston Healthcare System

VA Boston is the most high-profile VA facility in the country for treating mesothelioma. Thoracic surgeon Dr. Abraham Lebenthal specializes in mesothelioma and has experience with veteran-specific concerns. The Boston VA is near the International Mesothelioma Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

VA West Los Angeles Medical Center

VA West Los Angeles is one of the most extensive systems in the VA, serving 1.4 million veterans in the area. Mesothelioma treatment pioneer Dr. Robert Cameron is the chief of thoracic surgery with a history of treating veterans. The nearby Pacific Mesothelioma Center and the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center are closely related to VA West Los Angeles Medical Center. 

Miami VA Healthcare System

Miami VA Healthcare System is home to Dr. Dao Nguyen, a research leader targeting molecular therapy for pleural mesothelioma. It closely partners with the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Miami VA serves three South Florida counties and treats mesothelioma patients throughout the southeastern United States.

Common Questions About Mesothelioma Treatment Centers

Are all hospitals the same?

No, every hospital involves different physicians, facilities and treatment options. Specialized mesothelioma centers have teams dedicated to treating this rare cancer. Choosing a hospital for your treatment should be a personal decision based on your priorities and needs.

Is there financial aid available for out-of-state treatment?

Yes. Financial assistance available to mesothelioma patients includes travel resources, asbestos-related compensation, housing assistance, awards and grants, medication programs and veteran-specific aid. The Mesothelioma Center’s Patient Advocates connect patients to dozens of financial aid programs that help pay for the best mesothelioma care available.

How do I find a doctor who specializes in mesothelioma?

Finding a mesothelioma specialist locally can be challenging because so few doctors specialize in this rare cancer. You can research top mesothelioma doctors in your area, but you may have to travel to find a doctor specializing in your type of mesothelioma.

Do insurance and Medicare work at cancer centers specializing in mesothelioma?

Yes. Cancer centers specializing in mesothelioma accept many types of insurance, including Medicare. The amount covered varies based on treatment type and history. To cover out-of-pocket costs, such as travel, home health care and lost wages, financial aid is available. These programs include asbestos-related legal claims, medication programs and clinical trials.