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Mesothelioma Treatment by State

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Certain states have earned a strong reputation for excellent mesothelioma treatment. California and New York feature some of the most sought-after mesothelioma surgeons, while Florida and Illinois feature innovative programs for radiation therapy, immunotherapy and clinical trial research.

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Finding Mesothelioma Treatment Options Near You

Patients and families facing a mesothelioma diagnosis wonder where they should go to access the best treatment. The answer depends on several factors, including whether the patient has pleural or peritoneal mesothelioma, the cancer’s stage and even its cell type.

Several cancer centers throughout the U.S. feature doctors who specialize in different treatment modalities for mesothelioma, including surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

These teams collaborate to offer multidisciplinary treatment that fights mesothelioma in multiple ways, giving patients the best chance at long-term survival.

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Mesothelioma Treatment by Region


Eastern states, particularly New York and New Jersey, have higher rates of mesothelioma because of the region’s rich industrial and manufacturing history. There’s a higher concentration of mesothelioma doctors and treatment centers in this region to meet the medical needs of those affected by asbestos-related diseases.

New York is home to several mesothelioma specialty centers such as Mount Sinai Hospital, NYU Langone Medical Center and Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Raja Flores at Mount Sinai is a thoracic surgeon and pleural mesothelioma specialist who has dedicated part of his career to helping 9/11 first responders coping with asbestos-related diseases.

Patients with peritoneal mesothelioma are close to the world’s most renowned surgeon for the abdominal cancer, Dr. Paul Sugarbaker at the Washington Cancer Institute in Washington, D.C.

Sugarbaker innovated the most effective procedure for peritoneal mesothelioma, which combines cytoreductive surgery with heated chemotherapy.


Western states have a relatively high incidence of mesothelioma because of environmental exposure that happened near natural deposits of asbestos and occupational exposure that took place in shipyards and other industrial job sites.

California is home to one of the world’s most renowned mesothelioma surgeons and several of the nation’s top-rated mesothelioma treatment centers, including Ridley-Tree Cancer Center in Santa Barbara and the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center.

Dr. Robert Cameron of UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center pioneered a lung-sparing surgery for early-stage pleural mesothelioma that has become the most popular procedure for patients diagnosed early enough to qualify for it.


Rates of mesothelioma are generally lower in the central region. However, certain states, such as Illinois, have higher rates of mesothelioma because of asbestos exposure that happened in factories and manufacturing plants.

Mesothelioma patients in this region have access to some of the most innovative clinical trials for the disease at the University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center. The facility is home to Dr. Hedy Kindler, who treats pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma patients.

The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, has several thoracic surgeons who specialize in mesothelioma, and the center participates in numerous clinical trials for the disease.


Rates of mesothelioma in the South are lower compared to other regions, with the exception of Florida.

Florida ranks No. 2 in the U.S. for mesothelioma and asbestosis deaths, largely because of its retirement population. For this reason, many of the South’s best mesothelioma doctors and treatment centers are located in Florida.

Patients with pleural mesothelioma turn to the highly trained and experienced thoracic surgeon Dr. Jacques Fontaine at H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa. Fontaine is regularly asked to provide his expertise in the development of new mesothelioma treatments such as Tumor Treating Fields.

Patients with peritoneal mesothelioma may access the most effective treatment for the disease — cytoreductive surgery with heated chemotherapy — at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center in Miami. Dr. Mecker Moller, a surgical oncologist who specializes in peritoneal mesothelioma, was the first surgeon to perform the procedure in South Florida.

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Sugarbaker Legacy Lives on Throughout the US

Known as “Mr. Mesothelioma,” Dr. David Sugarbaker dedicated his medical career to developing and advancing treatment for the asbestos-related cancer. A pioneer in the field, he developed the extrapleural pneumonectomy surgery for pleural mesothelioma, and even invented a specialized walker for patients recovering from surgery.

Sugarbaker passed his skills and knowledge to other thoracic surgeons looking to specialize in pleural mesothelioma. Some of the surgeons throughout the U.S. who trained under Sugarbaker include:

  • Dr. Abraham Lebenthal at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston

  • Dr. Alexander Farivar at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle

  • Dr. David P. Mason at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas

  • Dr. Jacques Fontaine at H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida

  • Dr. Marcelo DaSilva at AdventHealth Orlando in Florida

  • Dr. Nestor Villamizar at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center in Miami

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Registered Nurse and Patient Advocate

Karen Selby joined 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
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8 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. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. (2020). Underlying Cause of Death 1999-2017 on CDC WONDER Online Database.
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  2. University of Chicago Medicine. (2020). University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center.
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  3. UCLA. (2020). Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center.
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  4. VA. (2020). West Los Angeles VA Medical Center.
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  5. Ridley-Tree Cancer Center. (2020). About Us.
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  6. Cedars Sinai. (2020). Samuel Oschin Cancer Center.
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  7. University of Miami Health System. (2020). Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.
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  8. Moffitt Cancer Center. (2020). H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center. Retrieved from:

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Last Modified May 6, 2020

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