Quick Facts
  • Primary Location:
    Brigham and Women’s Hospital
  • Expertise:
    Pleurectomy and Decortication
    Extrapleural Pneumonectomy
  • Speciality:
    Thoracic Surgery
  • Gender:
    Male
  • Language:
    English
  • Med School:
    Harvard Medical School

Get to Know Dr. Raphael Bueno

As the leader of the world’s most prestigious mesothelioma program, Dr. Raphael Bueno combines a thriving thoracic surgery practice with cutting-edge translational research that continues advancing mesothelioma treatment for patients.

Bueno serves as the senior surgeon at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and a professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School, where he received his medical degree more than 30 years ago.

He assumed the leadership role in 2014 after serving as associate chief of thoracic surgery for more than a decade under mesothelioma treatment pioneer Dr. David Sugarbaker.

Bueno also is co-director of The Lung Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, helping build the program into one of the country’s most elite.

As part of a multidisciplinary treatment program at Brigham and Women’s, he performs aggressive surgery that can extend the lives of pleural mesothelioma patients significantly.

Contact Raphael Bueno

Specialties of Dr. Raphael Bueno

  • Mesothelioma and lung cancer
  • Pleurectomy and decortication surgery
  • Extrapleural pneumonectomy surgery
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Airway management and surgery
  • Pneumothorax
  • Tracheal disorders
  • Research

Dr. Raphael Bueno’s Experience and Medical Education

Awards and Other Recognitions

  • Boston Magazine Top Doctor, 2020
  • Castle Connolly America’s Top Doctors, 2020
  • Harvard Medical School, Henry Christian Award
  • America’s Top Doctors for Cancer
  • American Chemical Society Fellow

Mesothelioma Clinical Trials Under Raphael Bueno, MD

  • Phase I study using the drug combination of Keytruda (pembrolizumab) and defactinib prior to surgical resection. Bueno was part of an earlier mesothelioma clinical trial using defactinib, which is not yet approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, alone before surgery.
  • Pleural mesothelioma prognostic biomarkers are being studied from prospectively collected pleural biopsies. The purpose of the study is part of an effort to improve cancer staging prior to surgery.

Following a Legend

It wasn’t easy following a mesothelioma treatment pioneer like Sugarbaker, who left in 2014 to build the Lung Institute at Baylor College of Medicine, but Bueno has flourished in his leadership role.

The Mesothelioma Program at Brigham and Women’s never has been better.

“Patients understand that it’s the whole program, and not just one individual that makes this the place to come for care,” he said. “It’s even better now.”

One of his ideas was designating every Friday as the day to handle mesothelioma patients exclusively. Bueno ensures his oncologists, surgeons, pathologists and radiologists all focus together on this rare and aggressive cancer.

“It’s an opportunity to really optimize the care for a lot of mesothelioma patients,” he said. “We’re working to make it the best for everyone.”

Publications of Dr. Raphael Bueno

  • Bueno, R. & Opitz, I. (2018) State of the Art review – Surgery in Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma. Journal of Thoracic Oncology.
  • Bueno, R. et al. (2016). Comprehensive genomic analysis of malignant pleural mesothelioma identifies recurrent mutations, gene fusions and splicing alterations. Nature Genetics.

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