Radiation Oncologists for Malignant Mesothelioma

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Radiation oncologists specialize in giving radiation therapy to treat cancer. Mesothelioma patients may see a radiation oncologist to shrink tumors, prevent cancer recurrence or relieve cancer-related pain.

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Radiation Oncologists for Mesothelioma

Some of the nation’s top mesothelioma treatment centers are home to experienced radiation oncologists.

Top Mesothelioma Radiation Oncologists

Dr. Kenneth Rosenzweig, radiation oncologist at Mount Sinai Medical Center

Dr. Kenneth Rosenzweig

Mount Sinai Hospital

Dr. Kenneth Rosenzweig is a radiation oncologist at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. He specializes in radiation therapy for pleural mesothelioma and lung cancer, and he works with other mesothelioma experts to provide multimodal therapy that combines radiation with chemotherapy and surgery.

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Dr. Charles Simone, mesothelioma oncologist

Dr. Charles B. Simone

Dr. Charles B. Simone is the chief medical officer of the New York Proton Center in New York City, which is the only facility in the state that offers proton radiation therapy. Simone specializes in the treatment of pleural mesothelioma and lung cancer using proton radiation therapy.

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Dr. Rengan Ramesh, Radiation Oncologist

Dr. Ramesh Rengan

Seattle Cancer Care Alliance

Dr. Ramesh Rengan is the medical director of the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance Proton Therapy Center. He specializes in radiation oncology for pleural mesothelioma and lung cancer. Rengan works closely with a team of mesothelioma experts to provide multimodal therapy to mesothelioma patients.

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Dr. R. Taylor Ripley, Director of the Mesothelioma Treatment Center at Baylor College of Medicine

R. Taylor Ripley, M.D.

Director, Mesothelioma Treatment Center at Baylor College of Medicine at Lung Institute at Baylor College of Medicine

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Jason P. Shaw, M.D.

Director of General Thoracic Surgery at Maimonides Medical Center

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Dr. Kiran Turaga, Surgical Oncologist

Kiran Turaga, M.D.

Surgical Treatment of Abdominal and Peritoneal Diseases at University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center

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Dr. Aaron Mansfield - Medical Oncologist

Aaron S. Mansfield, M.D.

Lung Cancer and Mesothelioma Immunotherapy at Mayo Clinic Minnesota

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Dr. Robert Ramirez, Medical Oncologist

Robert Ramirez, M.D.

Lung Cancer, Pleural Mesothelioma, Research at Ochsner Medical Center

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Dr. Jack A. Elias, Chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine at Yale University

Jack A. Elias, M.D.

Internal Medicine: Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine at Yale New Haven Health Smilow Cancer Hospital

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Dr. W. Charles Conway, peritoneal mesothelioma doctor & expert contributor for Asbestos.com

W. Charles Conway, M.D.

Peritoneal surface malignancies, complex oncologic surgeries at Ridley-Tree Cancer Center

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Dr. Betty Tong, Cardiothoracic Surgeon

Betty Tong, M.D.

Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery at Duke Cancer Center

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Dr. Nathan Pennell, Medical Oncologist

Nathan Pennell, M.D.

Mesothelioma, Lung Cancer, Clinical Trials at Cleveland Clinic Cancer Institute

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Dr. Neil Christie, Assistant Professor of Surgery

Neil Christie, M.D.

Minimally Invasive Thoracic Surgery at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center

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What is Radiation Oncology?

Radiation oncology is one of the three main specialties of oncology. The other two are surgical and medical oncology.

Radiation oncologists work closely with other members of a multidisciplinary cancer care team. This includes other oncologists, oncology nurses, pathologists and diagnostic radiologists.

Radiation therapy is a common treatment option for people diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma. It is typically combined with surgery and chemotherapy as part of a multimodal treatment plan.

As with surgical and medical oncologists, radiation oncologists can specialize in treating certain cancers.

Pleural mesothelioma patients should receive radiation therapy from an oncologist with experience treating this rare cancer. This includes thoracic radiologists who work for mesothelioma cancer centers.

Meeting with a Radiation Oncologist

Before a mesothelioma patient receives radiation therapy, they will go through an initial consultation with a radiation oncologist.

The radiation oncologist will discuss the best approach for your case. The most common type of radiation therapy for mesothelioma is intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT). This is a form of external-beam radiation therapy.

IMRT uses specialized equipment to aim high-energy X-rays at mesothelioma tumors. A linear accelerator moves around a patient’s body to attack the cancer from multiple angles with varying levels of intensity.

This type of radiation therapy is considered safer for pleural mesothelioma patients because it is tailored to the exact size and shape of the tumor site. Older forms of radiation therapy carry a higher risk of damaging the heart and lungs.

IMRT is one of the most sophisticated forms of radiation therapy. It takes an experienced radiation oncologist and a specialized radiation treatment center to administer it.

A radiation oncologist will explain how often treatments will be given — typically five times a week over a five- or six-week period — and what to expect from the treatment.

Once treatment ends, mesothelioma patients will have follow-up appointments where their radiation oncologist will monitor their recovery and watch for side effects.

If radiation therapy is given after surgery or in conjunction with chemotherapy, radiation oncologists will report how well the treatment is working to a patient’s medical or surgical oncologist.

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Training for Radiation Oncologists

In the U.S., radiation oncologists undergo four years of residency after completing a one-year internship.

After completing this residency, radiation oncologists are able to treat adult and pediatric cancer patients. Additional radiation oncology fellowships include image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT) and brachytherapy.

Specialization of radiation oncologists — such as thoracic radiology — is based on job availability and research interests.

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Registered Nurse and Patient Advocate

Karen Selby joined Asbestos.com in 2009. She is a registered nurse with a background in oncology and thoracic surgery and was the regional director of a tissue bank before becoming a Patient Advocate at The Mesothelioma Center. Karen has assisted surgeons with thoracic surgeries such as lung resections, lung transplants, pneumonectomies, pleurectomies and wedge resections. She is also a member of the Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators.

Walter Pacheco, Managing Editor at Asbestos.com
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3 Cited Article Sources

  1. Texas Oncology. (n.d.). RADIATION THERAPY FOR MALIGNANT PLEURAL MESOTHELIOMA.
    Retrieved from: https://www.texasoncology.com/types-of-cancer/mesothelioma/radiation-therapy-for-malignant-pleural-mesothelioma
  2. Cancer.net. (2016, December). What to Expect When Having Radiation Therapy.
    Retrieved from: https://www.cancer.net/navigating-cancer-care/how-cancer-treated/radiation-therapy/what-expect-when-having-radiation-therapy
  3. Knoll, M. (2015, August 4). Contemporary Clinical Oncology Training in the United States: Is Radiation or Medical Oncology Right for You? Retrieved from: https://connection.asco.org/blogs/contemporary-clinical-oncology-training-united-states-radiation-or-medical-oncology-right-you
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Last Modified November 6, 2019

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