Get to Know Dr. Abraham Lebenthal
Dr. Abraham Lebenthal is passionate about working with patients diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, a cancer alarmingly prevalent among military veterans and blue-collar workers.
He is the director of the Minimally Invasive Thoracic Surgery unit at the VA Healthcare System-West Roxbury campus, but he also has extensive experience in the most aggressive surgeries for pleural mesothelioma.
Lebenthal was recruited to Dana-Farber and trained by mesothelioma treatment pioneer and thoracic surgeon Dr. David Sugarbaker.
His clinical interests also include lung cancer, mediastinal tumors, thymic tumors, and esophageal cancer. He has experience with advanced laparoscopy and therapeutic endoscopy techniques.
Lebenthal performs surgery at Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston. He also is a professor at Harvard Medical School.
When it comes to this rare disease, Lebenthal talks extensively about tailoring mesothelioma treatment for every individual, being aggressive with his approach and “pushing the envelope” to find solutions.
Specialties of Dr. Abraham Lebenthal
- Pleural mesothelioma
- Lung cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease
- Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery
- Pleurectomy and decortication surgery
Dr. Abraham Lebenthal’s Experience and Medical Education
- Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Brigham & Women’s Hospital
- Harvard Medical School (Instructor)
- VA Boston Healthcare System
- Fox Chase Cancer Center
- Mount Sinai Medical Center (Residency)
- Hebrew University Medical Center (Residency)
- Brigham & Women’s Hospital (Fellowship)
- Hadassah Medical School, Hebrew University
Awards and Other Recognitions
- Letter of Distinction for Bravery, Israeli Army
- Golden Heart Award, VA Boston Healthcare System
- Compassionate Doctor Award
- Patient’s Choice 5th Anniversary Award
Clinical Trials Under Dr. Abraham Lebenthal
- A multicenter phase II study of toxicity issues involving the combination of neoadjuvant chemotherapy and modulated radiation therapy in combination with pleurectomy and decortication surgery.
Dr. Lebenthal’s Training Came the Hard Way
Lebenthal credits his Army training for much of the success, and the passion he exhibits, as a thoracic surgeon at Brigham & Women’s Hospital.
He served active duty as a battalion physician in an elite infantry unit within the Israeli Army after his graduation from medical school. It was there he received a Letter of Distinction for Bravery after evacuating combat soldiers under fire.
“One of the things you learn in the military is: There is no such thing as `I can’t.’ You learn to make good decisions,” he said. “You learn to take responsibility and ownership. And you better have precise execution. It’s the same in medicine.”
That training also attracted him to mesothelioma, the rare and aggressive cancer that has hit a disproportionate number of veterans exposed to asbestos, stemming from the military’s use of contaminated products.
“I have a deep admiration and respect for people who served in the military. It’s part of my background,” he said. “As in war, we don’t leave our brothers behind.”
Publications of Dr. Abraham Lebenthal
- Ijsseldijk, M. et al. (2019). Survival After Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy for Clinically Diagnosed or Biopsy-Proven Early-Stage NSCLC: A Systemic Review and Meta-Analysis. Journal of Thoracic Oncology.
- Siegert, C. et al. (2017). Open access phone triage for veterans with suspected malignant pleural mesothelioma. Journal of Surgical Research.
- Fisichella, M., Lebenthal, A. & Jalilvand, A. (2015). Diagnostic Evaluation of Achalasia: From the Whalebone to the Chicago Classification. World Journal of Surgery.
- Paul, S. et al. (2007). Primary Ewing sarcoma invading the heart: resection and reconstruction. Journal of Cardiovascular Surgery.
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