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Baylor Lung Institute

The Baylor College of Medicine Lung Institute is home to one of the world’s top mesothelioma cancer centers. Baylor’s Mesothelioma Treatment Center receives global recognition for its leading-edge approach to mesothelioma. This is thanks to leadership by the late Dr. David Sugarbaker, an internationally renowned thoracic surgeon and pioneer in treating malignant pleural mesothelioma.

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About Baylor College of Medicine Lung Institute

The Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) Lung Institute at Baylor–St. Luke’s Medical Center is a comprehensive diagnostic and treatment center for conditions affecting the lungs and breathing.

As a high-volume lung institute, the facility treats lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cystic fibrosis, mesothelioma, and more.

Baylor Lung Institute’s multidisciplinary approach, led by a diverse team of world-class specialized physicians, uniquely positions it as Texas’s top pulmonary oncological institution.

Baylor Lung Institute offers:

  • Echocardiography
  • Laboratory services
  • Nuclear medicine services
  • Pulmonary function testing
  • Radiology services

Baylor Lung Institute specializes in diagnosing and treating mesothelioma cancer through its Mesothelioma Treatment Center.

Mesothelioma treatment programming was developed by the late Dr. David Sugarbaker — a world-renowned thoracic surgical oncologist specializing in mesothelioma. During his remarkable career, Dr. Sugarbaker invented a life-extending surgery for pleural mesothelioma.

Baylor physicians also care for patients at several other medical facilities, including the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center.

This affiliation allows military veterans with mesothelioma from across the country to access world-class care at one of the nation’s top mesothelioma treatment centers through the VA Health Care System.

For assistance seeking mesothelioma treatment at Baylor Lung Institute, get our Free Mesothelioma Guide. The updated and comprehensive booklet contains over 90 pages of detailed, easy-to-understand information for mesothelioma patients and their loved ones.

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Baylor Lung Institute Mesothelioma Treatment Center

Offering specialized diagnostic and treatment services to patients with pleural mesothelioma, Baylor’s Mesothelioma Treatment Center is recognized as one of the world’s top facilities for this rare disease.

Founded by Dr. David Sugarbaker, the Mesothelioma Treatment Center at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center is committed to providing the best possible treatment to pleural mesothelioma patients.

“If you’ve been told you have a difficult case, this is where you come.”

- Dr. David Sugarbaker, former director, Mesothelioma Treatment Center

Baylor’s mesothelioma care approach involves:

  1. A multidisciplinary team of health care professionals, each offering their unique talents and skill sets to give patients a well-rounded and integrated treatment experience.
  2. Specialists who are dedicated to developing tailored and personalized treatment strategies for each patient.
  3. Mesothelioma doctors who are committed to advancing mesothelioma treatment technology through their clinical research program.

Ongoing research and investment into mesothelioma treatments is the only way for the medical community to find a cure.

The Mesothelioma Treatment Center moves us closer to this goal through its comprehensive clinical trials program that actively tests and develops new, cutting-edge mesothelioma therapies.

Patient Experience at Baylor Lung Institute

Having worked with many mesothelioma patients and families, the Mesothelioma Treatment Center team understands the heavy burden that often goes hand-in-hand with a mesothelioma diagnosis.

The mesothelioma care team is committed to going above and beyond to help patients and their families throughout the patient experience.

Patients at the Mesothelioma Treatment Center play an active role in their treatment. They also receive holistic support resources to improve each patient’s response to treatment.

Baylor Lung Institute’s comprehensive patient care teams include:

  • Case managers
  • Medical staff
  • Nutritionists
  • Physical therapists
  • Respiratory therapists
  • Social workers
  • Spiritual guides

The patient care team at Baylor Lung Institute works to ensure patients and their families are comfortable and involved in care every step of the way.

Baylor Lung Institute Mesothelioma Doctors

The multidisciplinary team at Baylor’s Mesothelioma Treatment Center includes national and international lung disease experts, thoracic surgeons, and pathologists.

Mesothelioma doctors at Baylor Lung Institute include:

These health care professionals have diverse backgrounds, offering unique skills and experiences. By bringing such wide-ranging talent together, the team can collaboratively develop a customized treatment plan for each patient.

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Treatments Offered at Baylor Lung Institute

The cutting-edge clinical and biomedical research programs at Baylor College of Medicine Lung Institute allow the facility to offer the most up-to-date and innovative mesothelioma treatment options.

“When patients first see us, importantly, we do a thorough assessment of the patient as well as the spread of the disease to see what they can tolerate and what is most appropriate for them.”

- Dr. R. Taylor Ripley, director, Mesothelioma Treatment Center

To offer such personalized treatment plans, tissues from each patient’s tumor and blood must be analyzed. This allows the mesothelioma team to evaluate the specific genes and immune markers to determine which treatments work best.

Multimodal Mesothelioma Treatment

Treatment plans at Baylor’s Mesothelioma Treatment Center usually involve multimodal therapy, combining several therapies.

“Surgery itself may not be curative, however, combining surgery with some other modality of therapy often provides benefit.”

- Dr. Bryan Burt, chief of the David J. Sugarbaker Division of Thoracic Surgery

Mesothelioma treatment options at Baylor Lung Institute include: 

  • Mesothelioma surgery: Advanced surgical techniques are used to remove any visible tumors. Surgery for pleural mesothelioma will likely be either an extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) or a pleurectomy with decortication (P/D).
  • Chemotherapy: Medicine that stops the growth of or kills cancer cells. It is usually injected into the bloodstream intravenously through the arm.
  • Radiation therapy: Radiotherapy uses ionizing radiation to destroy cells in a targeted area by damaging their genetic material.

Immunotherapy is a breakthrough mesothelioma treatment used at Baylor Lung Institute that is gaining attention. With this treatment, medications help boost the body’s immune system to improve how it fights cancer.

Immunotherapy is typically used in patients who are not candidates for mesothelioma surgery. However, thanks to promising study results published in December 2022, immunotherapy may soon be used as combination therapy for surgical patients before their procedure.

The encouraging study results suggest that immunotherapy before surgery activates an immune response that will remain even after removing a tumor. If cancer returns, the immune system has an existing memory to fight it.

Mesothelioma Clinical Trials and Research at Baylor Lung Institute

Baylor College of Medicine is actively involved in clinical trials, conducting hundreds of studies allowing patients access to the most up-to-date diagnostic and treatment options.

Since it focuses on mesothelioma research and treatment, Baylor Lung Institute has a robust mesothelioma clinical trial program testing new and promising therapies.

While these clinical trials cannot guarantee a cure, many therapies can give late-stage mesothelioma patients the best hope at life-extending treatments.

Baylor currently has several mesothelioma clinical trials and is actively recruiting participants. Since clinical trials involve specific participation criteria and strict or rolling deadlines, talk with your doctor to get the most accurate information.

You can download our helpful checklist, where you’ll find questions you can ask your doctor to start the conversation.

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Insurance Accepted at Baylor Medicine

Baylor Medicine accepts many insurance plans. For the most recent coverage information, contact your health insurance provider directly.

Baylor accepts the following insurance plans:

  • Aetna
  • Aetna Marketplace – Aetna CVS Health
  • Amerigroup
  • Beech Street Network
  • Best Doctors
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield Marketplace
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield ParPlan
  • Bright HealthCare – Marketplace
  • Cigna Medicare
  • Community Health Choice
  • Community Health Choice – Marketplace
  • Coventry Health Care
  • Devoted Health
  • Evolutions Healthcare System
  • EyeMed Vision Care (Access Networks Only)
  • First Health
  • Galaxy Health Network
  • HealthSmart
  • Independent Medical Systems
  • InterLink
  • Kelsey-Seybold
  • LifeTrac
  • Medicaid (Texas)
  • Medicare
  • MultiPlan
  • OptumHealth (formerly URN)
  • Private Healthcare Systems (PHCS and PHCS Savility)
  • Provider Select
  • Superior Health Plan
  • Superior Health Plan – Marketplace
  • Texas Children’s Health Plan (TCHP)
  • TriWest Health Alliance
  • United Behavioral Health (UBH)
  • United Healthcare
  • United Healthcare-Marketplace
  • USA Managed Care Organization

Please note this list is not exhaustive. If you do not see your insurance provider, you may wish to call Baylor Medicine directly.

Getting Mesothelioma Treatment at Baylor Lung Institute

Patients treated at Baylor Lung Institute are guaranteed world-class mesothelioma treatment.

By working with a multidisciplinary team of specialists, undergoing a personalized treatment plan, and receiving support through the institute’s holistic care philosophy, patients are offered the best chance at undergoing life-extending treatment.

If you want mesothelioma treatment at the Baylor Lung Institute, call or chat with our Patient Advocates now. They are available 24/7 to review your diagnosis, answer your questions, and help match you with mesothelioma cancer treatment centers that best meet your health care goals.

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Mesothelioma Hope has no affiliation with and is not endorsed or sponsored by Baylor Lung Institute. Any contact information listed is for informational purposes only. You have the right to contact Baylor Lung Institute directly.

Jenna TozziWritten by:

Director of Patient Advocacy

Jenna Tozzi, RN, is the Director of Patient Advocacy at Mesothelioma Hope. With more than 15 years of experience as an adult and pediatric oncology nurse navigator, Jenna provides exceptional guidance and support to mesothelioma patients and their loved ones. Jenna has been featured in Oncology Nursing News and is a member of the Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators & the American Nurses Association.

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References
  1. Accepted insurance. Baylor College of Medicine. (n.d.). Retrieved May 16, 2024, from https://www.bcm.edu/healthcare/for-patients/insurance
  2. Clinical trials/studies. Baylor College of Medicine. (n.d.). Retrieved May 16, 2024, from https://www.bcm.edu/healthcare/clinical-trials?combine=mesothelioma
  3. Dipali Pathak, D. P. (2022, December 13). Preoperative immunotherapy for mesothelioma shows favorable outcomes. Baylor College of Medicine. Retrieved May 16, 2024, from https://www.bcm.edu/news/preoperative-immunotherapy-for-mesothelioma-shows-favorable-outcomes
  4. Lee, H. S., Jang, H. J., Ramineni, M., Wang, D. Y., Ramos, D., Choi, J. M., Splawn, T., Espinoza, M., Almarez, M., Hosey, L., Jo, E., Hilsenbeck, S. G., Amos, C. I., Ripley, R. T., & Burt, B. M. (2022, December 5). A Phase II Window of Opportunity Study of Neoadjuvant PD-L1 versus PD-L1 plus CTLA-4 Blockade for Patients with Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma. Clinical cancer research: an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, CCR-22-2566. Advance online publication. Retrieved May 16, 2024, from https://doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-22-2566
  5. The Lung Institute. Baylor College of Medicine. (n.d.). Retrieved May 16, 2024, from https://www.bcm.edu/healthcare/specialties/the-lung-institute
  6. Mesothelioma. Baylor College of Medicine. (n.d.). Retrieved May 16, 2024, from https://www.bcm.edu/healthcare/specialties/oncology/cancer-types/lung-cancer/mesothelioma
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Mesothelioma Hope is passionate about helping patients and families affected by this aggressive cancer. A mesothelioma diagnosis can be scary and isolating, but we’re here for you at every step. Hope is only a phone call away.

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