Written by Dr. Kristopher Bunting | Edited By Walter Pacheco

Getting Treatment in Michigan

Michigan is home to some of the country’s best cancer treatment centers, including two National Cancer Institute comprehensive cancer centers. These are the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute at Wayne State University in Detroit and the University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center in Ann Arbor.

Michigan has a wide range of industries that are responsible for occupational asbestos exposure, most notably the automotive industry. In addition to automobile and auto parts manufacturing, Michigan also has many chemical, oil and food production facilities linked to asbestos exposure. Michigan ranks ninth in the U.S. for asbestos-related deaths, including a total of 1,992 recorded mesothelioma deaths. Based on data from 2020, the age-adjusted incidence of mesothelioma in Michigan is 0.6 cases per 100,000 people.

The Mesothelioma Center at Asbestos.com is Michigan’s and the nation’s trusted source for mesothelioma information for patients and their families. For more than 15 years, The Mesothelioma Center has provided assistance in the form of patient advocates, VA claims, a doctor match program, support groups and webinars. The center provides resources for people with mesothelioma in Michigan to help them find the best possible care within the state.

Top Mesothelioma Centers in Michigan

Choosing a cancer treatment center is an important first step on your mesothelioma journey. With multiple cancer treatment centers to choose from in Michigan, how do you choose the one that is right for you?

When deciding on a cancer treatment center, consider these factors:
  • Are they accredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer?
  • Are they a National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center?
  • Do they provide palliative care in addition to surgical and oncology services?

Michigan has many cancer centers across the state, but only two of these are NCI-designated comprehensive cancer centers: the Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit and the University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center in Ann Arbor. 

Other major cancer centers in Michigan include Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit and the Van Elslander Cancer Center. These centers have doctors who specialize in mesothelioma diagnosis and treatment, providing the latest, most effective mesothelioma treatments to patients.

Michigan Doctors Who Treat Mesothelioma

In addition to finding a cancer treatment center, you must also choose the right cancer doctor. This is a very important part of your mesothelioma journey. Your doctor will work alongside you to help you select the best treatments that meet your individual needs. There is no shortage of competent physicians, but you must find someone who is a good fit for you.

When choosing a mesothelioma doctor in Michigan, consider the following:
  • Are they highly trained and confident in their field?
  • Do they have a background in your type of mesothelioma?
  • Do you feel you can trust them and that they respect you?

Cancer treatment continues even after remission. You and your doctor need to build a good working relationship based on trust and respect. Personality matters as much as medical knowledge and clinical skills. You and your doctor need to work together as a team throughout your treatment. Be sure to find a teammate who is a good fit for you, someone you can feel comfortable working with for the long journey ahead.

Dr. Munther I. Ajlouni, radiation oncologist

Detroit, Michigan

Munther I. Ajlouni

Pleural Specialist | Radiation Oncology

Expertise: Precision Radiotherapy MRI-Guided Radiation

Languages: English

Dr. Raed Alnajjar, thoracic surgeon

Detroit, Michigan

Raed Alnajjar

Pleural Specialist | Thoracic Surgery

Expertise: Cardiothoracic Surgery Structural Heart Disease

Languages: English, Arabic

Dr. Gregory Kalemkerian, pleural mesothelioma oncologist

Ann Arbor, Michigan

Gregory P. Kalemkerian

Pleural Specialist | Medical Oncology

Expertise: Thoracic Malignancies Immunotherapy

Languages: English

Dr. Richard Berri, peritoneal mesothelioma surgeon

 Grosse Pointe Woods, Michigan

Richard Berri

Peritoneal Specialist | Thoracic Surgery

Expertise: Cytoreductive Surgery HIPEC

Languages: English, Spanish

Dr. Hirva Mamdani, pleural mesothelioma specialist

Detroit, Michigan

Hirva Mamdani

Pleural Specialist | Medical Oncology

Expertise: Immunotherapy Research

Languages: English

Dr. Mohammad Chisti, medical oncologist

Troy, Michigan

Mohammad Muhsin Chisti

Pleural Specialist | Medical Oncology

Expertise: Immunotherapy Pleural Mesothelioma

Languages: English, Hindi, Urdu

Dr. Miguel Alvelo-Rivera, pleural mesothelioma surgeon

Midland, Michigan

Miguel Alvelo-Rivera

Pleural Specialist | Thoracic Surgery

Expertise: Minimally Invasive Surgery Thoracoscopic Pneumonectomy

Languages: English, Spanish

Dr. Shirish Gadgeel, lung cancer & mesothelioma oncologist

Detroit, Michigan

Shirish Gadgeel

Pleural Specialist | Medical Oncology

Expertise: Thoracic Malignancies Clinical Research

Languages: English, Hindi, Marathi

Dr. Craig W. Stevens, Department chair of Radiation Oncology

Royal Oak, Michigan

Craig W. Stevens

Pleural Specialist | Radiation Oncology

Expertise: Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy Clinical Trials

Languages: English

Clinical Trials and Cancer Research in Michigan

Some cancer centers in Michigan also conduct cancer research, including clinical trials of new mesothelioma treatments. Clinical trials are essential to improving mesothelioma treatment by recruiting patients to test the latest cutting-edge therapies. Enrolling in a clinical trial can give you access to mesothelioma treatments at the forefront of cancer research.

Mesothelioma clinical trials in Michigan are testing targeted therapies that use new drugs designed to treat cancers associated with specific gene mutations. Participating in cancer research can benefit you as an individual, but it also allows you to play a role in advancing cancer care for countless other patients. Are you interested in enrolling in a mesothelioma clinical trial? Let The Mesothelioma Center at Asbestos.com help you find one that’s right for you.

Clinical Trial
Phase 1 Study of INBRX-109 in Subjects With Locally Advanced or Metastatic Solid Tumors, Including Sarcomas

This is a trial of an experimental immunotherapy drug, INBRX-109, designed to treat mesothelioma and other solid tumors.

  • Condition: Pleural Mesothelioma
  • Intervention: Immunotherapy
  • Locations: Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Recruiting: October 28, 2018 – Present
Clinical Trial
Study of ASTX295 in Patients With Solid Tumors With Wild-Type p53

This trial is testing a new drug that targets a protein in the p53 gene associated with cancer.

  • Condition: Pleural Mesothelioma
  • Intervention: Targeted Therapy
  • Locations: Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Recruiting: June 2019 – Present
Clinical Trial
PRO1184 for Advanced Solid Tumors

This study is evaluating a treatment that consists of a targeted therapy drug bound to an antibody against receptors on cancer cells, including mesothelioma and other solid tumors.

  • Condition: Malignant Mesothelioma
  • Intervention: Targeted Therapy/Immunotherapy
  • Locations: Detroit, Michigan
  • Recruiting: October 2022 – Present

Stories From Survivors

Chuck Gast
Pleural Mesothelioma Survivor

Chuck Gast traveled to Michigan to receive life-saving treatment for pleural mesothelioma after his diagnosis in 2016. His former wife had received a mesothelioma diagnosis just three years prior, so he had firsthand experience with the cancer.

He underwent pleurectomy and decortication (P/D), an aggressive surgery to remove the lining of his lung, at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor before returning home to Ohio for chemotherapy. With the love and support of his wife, stepdaughter and church, Gast has been able to return to his normal life. He was able to return to work — walking a half mile to and from work every day — and resumed weightlifting and playing softball. According to Gast, surviving mesothelioma has made him stronger.

Cancer Support Services in Michigan

Cancer support services work to meet the needs of cancer patients, caregivers and families. Both national and local resources are available to help residents of Michigan with mesothelioma.

American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society’s cancer resource centers provide free wigs, hats, treatment information and other support for cancer patients. Their services also include help finding emotional support networks, financial assistance and lodging during treatment.

Mesothelioma Survivor, Caregiver & Family Support

The Mesothelioma Survivor, Caregiver & Family Support group on Facebook helps connect mesothelioma patients and caregivers in Michigan and around the country with other people dealing with mesothelioma. Newly diagnosed patients, survivors and others can share their experiences and offer peer support.

Michigan Health and Human Services

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has online information to help cancer survivors and caregivers find cancer support services. They also have a program to provide home-delivered meals to individuals who are unable to prepare meals for themselves, including cancer patients. 

Revive & Thrive

The Revive & Thrive Project provides healthy, fresh meals for individuals with cancer and other chronic and acute illnesses living in the Grand Rapids area of Michigan. It provides nutritional support to families and caregivers as well as patients.

Rogel Cancer Center

The University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center offers a full range of support services for cancer patients and their families. It offers everything from art therapy and educational programs to support groups and spiritual care.

Michigan individuals and families dealing with a mesothelioma diagnosis have access to a wide range of resources and services. Along with mesothelioma treatment in Michigan, these resources can provide financial as well as emotional and spiritual support.

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