Dr. Prasad S. Adusumilli, a top mesothelioma surgeon

Prasad S. Adusumilli

Thoracic Surgeon

Dr. Prasad S. Adusumilli is a thoracic surgeon and co-director of the Mesothelioma Program at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.

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About Prasad S. Adusumilli

Accolades
  • Team Leader icon

    Team Leader

  • Gene Therapy icon

    Gene Therapy

  • VAT Surgery icon

    Video-Assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery

  • Robotic Surgery icon

    Robotic Surgery

  • Immunotherapy icon

    Immunotherapy

Dr. Prasad Adusumilli has earned acclaim for both his surgical expertise and the groundbreaking laboratory advances that brought hope to mesothelioma patients throughout the world.

He has clinical expertise in esophageal cancer, lung cancer, pleural mesothelioma, thymoma and chest wall tumors.

He practices minimally invasive and robotic-assisted surgery, along with VATS (video-assisted thoracic surgery) and laser surgery. He does the aggressive pleurectomy and decortication surgery for mesothelioma patients.

Adusumilli also is head of the Solid Tumors Therapy Department at Memorial Sloan Kettering.

His laboratory work includes the novel development of CAR T-cell therapy, a form of gene therapy, for the treatment of lung cancer, breast cancer and mesothelioma.

He is the lead investigator of a mesothelioma clinical trial that uses laboratory-prepared immune cells — CAR T cells — that have shown great potential.

The FDA approved the first CAR T-cell therapy for pediatric leukemia in 2017. Although it has shown real effectiveness with blood tumors, the work with solid tumors such as mesothelioma has been slower to develop.

Adusumilli has sparked the recent surge.

Believer in the Potential of Immunotherapy

Adusumilli is a big believer in the future of immunotherapy, which revolves around using a patient’s own immune system to better recognize and destroy cancer.

“I believe it’s going to change the paradigm of treating mesothelioma,” he said. “We are moving in that direction. What we’re seeing now is very exciting.”

By pioneering the efforts to advance gene therapy for thoracic malignancies, Adusumilli’s laboratory has received funding from a variety of sources.

They include the U.S. Department of Defense, National Cancer Institute, American Association for Cancer Research and the National Lung Cancer Partnership.

The Department of Defense first began allocating funds for mesothelioma research in 2008, giving Adusumilli its Technology/Therapeutic Development Award (2011-2014).

Almost a third of mesothelioma patients in the United States are military veterans, stemming from the past prevalence of asbestos use in the armed forces.

Age Not a Factor for Surgery

Adusumilli led a study recently that brought considerable hope to elderly patients, dispelling the popular belief that older patients with early stage cancer do not benefit from aggressive surgery.

The research, done with lung cancer, found even those 75 and older usually survive for five years or more and die from a non-cancer-related problem.

“Patients should not be denied surgery simply because of their age,” he said. “There has been a misconception about the usefulness of surgery. We’ve shown that surgery can be quite effective in curing the disease.”

Memorial Sloan Kettering is the oldest and largest private cancer facility in America. It is known for innovative research and treatment.

Adusumilli joined Memorial Sloan Kettering more than a decade ago. He received his medical degree from Guntur Medical College in India.

He completed his residency in general surgery at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, where he also did a fellowship in cardiothoracic surgery.

He completed a second fellowship in thoracic surgery at Memorial Sloan Kettering and stayed to begin his medical practice.

Disclaimer: Dr. Prasad S. Adusumilli has no professional affiliation with Asbestos.com.

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Last Modified January 7, 2019

Senior Content Writer

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.

Matt Mauney, Content Writer at Asbestos.com
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2 Cited Article Sources

  1. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (n.d.). Prasad S. Adusumilli, MD.
    Retrieved from: https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/doctors/prasad-adusumilli
  2. Stallard, J., Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Press Release (2016, November 2). Retrieved from: https://www.mskcc.org/blog/older-age-not-limiting-factor-lung-cancer-surgery
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