Surgical oncologist Dr. Michael Kluger doesn’t believe in treating peritoneal mesothelioma like other metastatic diseases, which still happens far too often today.
10+ Years of Experience
Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy
Board Certified in Surgery
Mesothelioma is unique and must be treated that way.
“Mesothelioma is a completely different disease, a whole different ballgame from anything else,” Kluger said.
Kluger has taken leadership of the peritoneal mesothelioma program at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, which has been treating the disease for more than 20 years, attracting patients from across the country with a sterling reputation.
He recently co-authored a study on its treatment of peritoneal mesothelioma that detailed a median overall survival of 6.65 years and a 30 percent, 10-year survival rate, which is well above the norm. The median, recurrence-free survival for their patients was 38.5 months.
The Annals of Surgical Oncology published the report in 2017.
“There is hope for these patient today. People are living a long time now when they are appropriately treated from the get-go,” he said. “It’s night and day from where it once was.”
All patients in the study completed a novel two-stage cytoreduction and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC), along with a multicycle adjuvant chemotherapy regimen.
“We’re the only ones routinely doing it this way,” he said. “I don’t want to claim it is any better — we don’t have the data to prove that — than what others do, but it’s just the way we’ve been doing it. We’ve had a lot of success with it.”
There are oncologists out there, who don’t see it often enough, still treating it based on what they learned 30 years ago. We have a different strategy here than most places. And we’ve had excellent outcomes with it.”
– Dr. Kluger
Kluger has been treating peritoneal mesothelioma since his surgical residency in 2004. He took lead of the program at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia in 2013.
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His numerous honors have included the Forde Award in 2015 for his innovative approaches to control peritoneal cancers.
Kluger’s focus has continued to be on the operative management of liver cancer, pancreatic cancer, gallbladder disease and metastasis of the peritoneum.
He graduated from the New York University School of Medicine. He received advanced surgical training in hepatobiliary surgery and liver transplantation in France at University Hospital of Henri-Mondor.
As an assistant professor of surgery at Columbia University, Kluger was named 2015 Teacher of the Year by the General Surgery Chief Residents in recognition of excellence in mentoring. He was named New York-Presbyterian Hospital Physician of the Year in 2016.
Kluger and his staff have been lauded for their multi-disciplinary approach to treatment, personalizing each patient’s therapy based on a number of factors.
“This is a complex disease that really requires experience, not with a similar disease, but with this one,” he said. “We know how to diagnose mesothelioma, how to treat it, and how to follow up with it. Recurrence will happen, and we know how to handle that.”
Disclaimer: Dr. Michael D. Kluger has no professional affiliation with Asbestos.com.
Tim Povtak is an award-winning writer with more than 30 years of reporting national and international news. His specialty is interviewing top mesothelioma specialists and researchers, reporting the latest news at mesothelioma cancer centers and talking with survivors and caregivers. Read More