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Dr. James C. Cusack

Dr. James C. Cusack

Surgical Oncologist

Dr. James C. Cusack is a surgical oncologist, research scientist and director of the Peritoneal Surface Malignancy Program at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

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About James C. Cusack

  • Peritoneal Mesothelioma icon

    Peritoneal Mesothelioma

  • Heated Chemotherapy icon

    Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy

  • Team Leader icon

    Team Leader

  • Research Excellence icon

    Excellence in Research

Cusack has advanced the treatment of peritoneal mesothelioma through his surgical skills, groundbreaking research in the Cusack Laboratory and in his role as an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School.

Advancing Treatment Options

Since arriving at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in 2000, Cusack has earned his reputation as a tireless advocate for those in need, always looking for better ways to help others.

Patients with peritoneal disease — including mesothelioma — are in good hands with Cusack and his multidisciplinary staff.

Cusack has seen impressive results with the cytoreductive surgery and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) combination he has used since 2011.

The program he now directs was formed in a collaborative effort with medical oncologists to provide a better understanding of peritoneal disease and offer a platform for novel therapeutics. The goal was improving patient outcomes.

Working Globally

Cusack also became director of the MGH Global Surgery Initiative and co-chair of the MGH Cancer Center Global Health Committee.

In that role, he has worked to establish international partnerships to assist developing countries with acute health care needs.

In the past 15 years, Cusack has worked with medical staff in Bangladesh, Kazakhstan, Botswana, Uganda and Liberia. He is often assisted by residents, clinicians, fellows and staff from MGH who travel to teach and provide surgical care to those in need.

“What continues to impress and motivate me is the spirit of collaboration that marks these missions,” he said. “It is the most rewarding work of my career.”

Laboratory Producing Future Advances

Cusack Laboratory, which is funded by the National Institutes of Health and the American Cancer Society, has focused on the molecular mechanisms involved with chemotherapy resistance and new targets for therapeutic intervention.

The goal is increasing the effectiveness of anti-cancer therapies and improving patient survival. The Laboratory today is involved with a wide range of preclinical and clinical research projects that should lead to novel treatments in the future.

On a national level, Cusack has served on the executive council of the Society of Surgical Oncology (SSO) and was chairman of the SSO Scientific Program Committee. He also served on the American Society of Clinical Oncology Gastrointestinal Symposium Program Committee.

He came to MGH after a research fellowship at nearby Brigham & Women’s Hospital and a surgical oncology fellowship at MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Cusack graduated from Dartmouth College and Emory University School of Medicine. He also trained at Tufts Medical Center in Boston.

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1 Cited Article Sources

The sources on all content featured in The Mesothelioma Center at include medical and scientific studies, peer-reviewed studies and other research documents from reputable organizations.

  1. Massachusetts General Hospital (N.D.). James C Cusack, MD Biography. Retrieved from:

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Last Modified July 31, 2020

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