Getting Mesothelioma Treatment in Virginia

Virginia is home to two cancer centers recognized by the National Cancer Institute for excellence, including one NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center. These are the University of Virginia Comprehensive Cancer Center in Charlottesville and the Massey Cancer Center at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. 

Virginia has a long history of asbestos and vermiculite mining. The state is also home to 27 military bases, multiple shipyards, several nuclear power plants and other industries with a history of asbestos use. Virginia ranks 12th in the U.S. for asbestos-related deaths, with 1,535 recorded mesothelioma deaths. Seventy-six mesothelioma cases were reported in 2019 alone. The age-adjusted incidence of mesothelioma in Virginia is 0.7 cases per 100,000 people.

The Mesothelioma Center at has more than 15 years of experience working with survivors and their families and has become the nation’s most trusted source of information about mesothelioma. The Mesothelioma Center provides assistance in the form of patient advocates, help with VA claims, a doctor match program, support groups and webinars. The center offers resources for people with mesothelioma in Virginia and surrounding areas to help them find the best possible care within the state.

Top Mesothelioma Cancer Centers in Virginia

Being diagnosed with mesothelioma is a life-changing experience. When you choose a mesothelioma treatment center in Virginia, it is important to find one that can provide you with the best possible care. How do you choose the right cancer center to meet your needs?

Factors you should consider when you are choosing a cancer treatment center include:
  • 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?

Virginia has many hospitals that provide cancer treatment, but only two are rated high-performing by U.S. News & World Report. The University of Virginia has the only NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center in the state. It offers a team of mesothelioma experts who provide top-notch, cutting-edge care, including a pathologist who specializes in mesothelioma diagnosis. 

The Massey Cancer Center at VCU has been an NCI-designated cancer center since 1975. It has specialists from multiple fields who work together to provide comprehensive care for mesothelioma patients in Virginia.

Virginia Cancer Specialists
8613 Lee Highway, Fairfax, VA 22031
  • Year Built: 1974
  • Number of Physicians: 2
University of Virginia Cancer Center
1240 Lee St. Charlottesville, VA 22903
  • Year Built: 1901
  • Number of Beds: 671
VCU Massey Cancer Center
401 College St. Richmond, VA 23298
  • Year Built: 1974
  • Number of Beds: 837

Virginia Doctors Who Treat Mesothelioma

The first step in finding the best mesothelioma care is choosing a cancer treatment center; the second is choosing the right doctor. You need to find a doctor you can trust to care for you throughout your mesothelioma journey. Finding a mesothelioma specialist who is a good fit for you is also important.

Things you should consider when choosing a mesothelioma doctor in Virginia include:
  • Do they have experience with your type of mesothelioma?
  • Do they make you feel comfortable and respected?
  • Is the doctor knowledgeable and confident?

Cancer care continues beyond treatment and into remission. You and your doctor will be working together throughout your mesothelioma journey. You must be able to build a good working relationship based on mutual trust and respect. Both medical skill and personality matter. You will be working as a team, so choose a teammate who is a good fit for you and your needs.

Dr. Sandeep Khandhar
Pleural Specialist
Thoracic surgery
Minimally Invasive Surgery Vascular Surgery
Fairfax, Virginia
Dr. Alex Spira
Pleural Specialist
Medical Oncology
Research Immunotherapy
Fairfax, Virginia
Dr. Jennifer Gnerlich
Peritoneal Specialist
Surgical Oncology
Cytoreductive Surgery HIPEC
Fairfax, Virginia

Clinical Trials and Cancer Research in Virginia

The two major cancer centers in Virginia also conduct research. Doctors at UVACCC have developed a new noninvasive cancer treatment. Dr. Jaime Mata has created a method that uses ultrasound instead of radiation to destroy tumors, and he is developing a way to use this to treat pleural mesothelioma. 

Clinical trials are conducted at cancer centers throughout the country, including in Virginia. One study taking place at multiple cancer centers is testing new types of gene therapy. Cutting-edge treatments like this will someday become the standard of care. Participating in clinical trials can give you access to the latest mesothelioma treatments. If you are interested in joining a clinical trial, let The Mesothelioma Center help you find a trial in your area.

Clinical Trial
A Study of HFB200301 as a Single Agent and in Combination With Tislelizumab in Adult Patients With Advanced Solid Tumors

This study is testing a new immunotherapy drug for mesothelioma and other solid tumors.

  • Condition: Malignant Mesothelioma
  • Intervention: Immunotherapy
  • Locations: Fairfax, Virginia
  • Recruiting: February 2022 – Present
Clinical Trial
Durvalumab With Chemotherapy as First-Line Treatment in Advanced Pleural Mesothelioma

This study is testing whether adding a new immunotherapy drug to chemotherapy improves outcomes for pleural mesothelioma.

  • Condition: Epithelioid Pleural Mesothelioma
  • Intervention: Immunotherapy
  • Locations: Charlottesville, Virginia
  • Recruiting: April 2020 – Present
Clinical Trial
Safety and Tolerability of TNG908 in Patients With MTAP-deleted Solid Tumors

This study is testing a new targeted therapy drug in patients with mesothelioma and other tumors with specific genetic markers.

  • Condition: Malignant Mesothelioma
  • Intervention: Targeted therapy
  • Locations: Fairfax, Virginia
  • Recruiting: March 2022 – Present
Clinical Trial
KZR-261 in Subjects With Advanced Solid Malignancies

This study is testing a new targeted therapy drug in patients with mesothelioma and other solid tumors.

  • Condition: Malignant Mesothelioma
  • Intervention: Targeted therapy
  • Locations: Fairfax, Virginia
  • Recruiting: September 2021– Present
Young scientist reviewing sample under a microscope
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Stories From Survivors and Their Families

Carrie Deane

When her brother was diagnosed with stage IV peritoneal mesothelioma, Carrie Deane of Richmond, Virginia, reached out for help. She needed guidance and assistance to help her brother file a VA disability claim for asbestos exposure. She gives credit to The Mesothelioma Center for helping her in her time of need. “If you had not been there to guide me each step of the way, I would have felt helpless and perhaps given up,” she said. The Mesothelioma Center was able to help her file the claim, but, more importantly, Deane found someone she could trust. “I felt a sense of comfort in your words and your understanding of what we were going through and your desire to help prompted me to trust that you had my brother’s best interest at heart,” she said.

Cancer Support Services in Virginia

Cancer support services work to meet the needs of cancer patients, caregivers and families dealing with mesothelioma. This can include financial support as well as emotional and spiritual support. Both national and local resources are available to help Virginia 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. The available services also include help finding emotional support networks, financial assistance and lodging during treatment.

Family Resources for Mesothelioma

The Mesothelioma Center offers support for patients and their families. Whether you need help and insight from other mesothelioma survivors, mesothelioma experts or other resources, they can provide assistance. The Mesothelioma Center can suggest support groups, webinars and other resources to help you and your loved ones cope with a mesothelioma diagnosis, handle grief and depression, and deal with other issues.

Mesothelioma Survivor, Caregiver & Family Support

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

Virginia Department of Health

The Virginia Department of Health has online resources for people with mesothelioma and other cancers. They can help you find health insurance and medical care in Virginia as well as help connect you with other groups and agencies that offer cancer support services.