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Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH)

Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) in Boston, Massachusetts, is among the world’s best mesothelioma diagnostic and treatment facilities. BWH is known globally for its leading-edge staff of thoracic surgeons and mesothelioma researchers. The International Mesothelioma Program (IMP) at Brigham and Women’s Hospital is a premier center for mesothelioma care.

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About Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Brigham and Women’s Hospital — also known as the Brigham and BWH — is a world-class health center based in Boston, Massachusetts. BWH is a general medical and surgical facility and teaching hospital.

Brigham and Women’s Hospital is associated with the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, a top-notch cancer center recognized as a world leader in cancer treatment and research.

“Year after year, we are acknowledged for quality and safety, as well as innovative patient- and family-focused care.”
—Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Each year, hundreds of mesothelioma patients who were newly diagnosed seek treatment at the International Mesothelioma Program (IMP) at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Founded in 2002, IMP is the world’s largest program of its kind. It is also one of the few medical facilities to treat all major types of mesothelioma.

In 2015, scientific advancements and increased mesothelioma insight led to BWH opening the Lung Center and Lung Research Center. This is where its mesothelioma program now operates.

Mesothelioma patients receive an initial consultation based on their genetic makeup and disease stage for a highly personalized treatment plan.

Fast Facts – Brigham and Women’s Hospital

  • Nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report in 12 adult specialties
  • Has clinical, administrative, and support staff working in over 50 buildings throughout Greater Boston
  • Its network includes 1,200 doctors throughout New England
  • Maintains 150 outpatient practices
  • Serves patients from 120 countries
  • Founding member of the largest mesothelioma program in the world – the International Mesothelioma Program (IMP)

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Patient Experience at Brigham and Women’s Hospital

BWH’s patient care model is grounded in open communication, creating a patient-focused care plan, and considering personal needs. A cohesive team approach with supportive clinical and administrative professionals ensures the best possible care for each patient.

“Brigham and Women’s Hospital excels at caring for the sickest, most medically complex patients.”
—Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Support for patients and families consists of medical intervention, social work, chaplaincy, and a dedicated patient liaison. Practical needs like housing, travel, and financial care are also addressed.

The mesothelioma patient team at Brigham and Women’s Hospital includes:

  • Anesthesiologists
  • Chaplains
  • Critical care specialists
  • Medical oncologists
  • Nurses
  • Nutritionists
  • Pathologists
  • Pharmacists
  • Psychologists
  • Physician assistants
  • Physical therapists
  • Radiation oncologists
  • Respiratory therapists
  • Surgeons
  • Social workers
  • Other clinicians

Patients arriving at the BWH meet many of the team members right away. The care team carefully reviews the patient’s medical history and provides a complete diagnostic examination by a certified thoracic surgeon with expert training in mesothelioma treatment.

Mesothelioma Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital

As a founding member of IMP, Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston is home to some of the top mesothelioma experts in the world.

“The Division of Thoracic Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital has pioneered mesothelioma care and research over the last two decades.”
—Brigham and Women’s Hospital

IMP is a collaborative mesothelioma research and treatment initiative involving some of Boston’s top medical institutions. This includes Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Boston VA Health Care System, where military veterans with mesothelioma seek care.

Highlights of the mesothelioma program at BWH include:

  • Over 80 caregivers, scientists, and support staff
  • Board-certified thoracic surgeons with sub-specialty training and years of experience with mesothelioma
  • Expertise in the most advanced diagnostic procedures, including cervical mediastinoscopy
  • All surgeons are faculty at Harvard Medical School
  • Many surgeons are physician-researchers at the forefront of new therapies

Notably, the BWH mesothelioma program was established by the late Dr. David Sugarbaker — a highly respected mesothelioma surgeon and researcher. Dr. Sugarbaker is known for developing a life-extending surgery for pleural mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma Doctors at BWH

With a world-class mesothelioma program in place, Dr. Sugarbaker left BWH to establish a program at Baylor College of Medicine Lung Institute in Houston, Texas.

BWH’s mesothelioma program is now led by Dr. Raphael Bueno, who is Chief of Thoracic and Cardiac Surgery.

Dr. Bueno also serves as Program and Research Director for IMP. He has been recognized as one of America’s Top Doctors by Castle Connolly and named a top thoracic surgeon by Boston Magazine.

Brigham and Women’s mesothelioma specialists include:

  • Dr. Raphael Bueno
  • Dr. Lucian R. Chirieac
  • Dr. Edmund Saulius Cibas
  • Dr. Antonio Coppolino, III
  • Dr. Christopher T. Ducko
  • Dr. Kelly Jean Fitzgerald
  • Dr. Jonathan Alfred Fletcher
  • Dr. Narjust Florez
  • Dr. Michael T. Jaklitsch
  • Dr. Hassan A. Khalil
  • Dr. Raymond H. Mak
  • Dr. Robert F. Padera, Jr.
  • Dr. Michael Seth Rabin
  • Dr. Lynette Marie Sholl
  • Dr. Desiree A. Steimer
  • Dr. Scott James Swanson

Supporting the BWH surgical team is a core group of physician assistants, patient coordinators, and support staff. These dedicated professionals integrate the skills of specialists in dozens of disciplines.

Brigham and Women’s Hospital dedicates itself to exceptional core values. BWH believes in training socially responsible and clinically excellent health care leaders who are innovative and compassionate. Because of these reasons and more, BWH continues to attract top mesothelioma talent worldwide.

For dedicated assistance finding a mesothelioma specialist who is a good fit for you, try our FREE Doctor Match now.

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Mesothelioma Treatment at Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Brigham and Women’s Hospital treats pleural mesothelioma, peritoneal mesothelioma, and pericardial mesothelioma.

The multidisciplinary mesothelioma team provides highly personalized care that addresses each patient’s unique needs.

The staff at BWH is committed to a collaborative approach to mesothelioma treatment. Treatment plans involve everyone, from the head surgeons to the individual patient.

Brigham and Women’s Hospital clinicians tailor treatment strategies through its four-gene ratio test. The innovative tool is a molecular test that determines the best mesothelioma treatment options based on a patient’s individual characteristics.

Tissues from collected tumors determine the probable outcome of various intervention procedures based on genetic information.

Based on the results of BWH’s four-gene ratio test, mesothelioma treatment options may include:

  • Extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP): An invasive surgical procedure, EPP is usually performed on patients with early-stage mesothelioma. The affected lung is removed as well as other diseased tissues. BWH surgeons have an impressive record of success using EPP procedures.
  • Pleurectomy with decortication (P/D): Two separate procedures are used with P/D. A pleurectomy involves opening the thorax and removing the diseased lung lining. Decortication meticulously removes cancerous regions extending into other areas of the lung or adjacent organs.
  • Chemotherapy: BWH commonly uses chemotherapy in conjunction with surgery and radiation treatment. Chemo is also a stand-alone treatment for advanced-stage mesothelioma when surgical intervention is no longer possible.
  • Radiation therapy: Radiation oncologists at BWH employ intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) to shrink mesothelioma tumors. High-energy beams are directed at cancerous regions to kill cancerous cells but protect healthy tissues. BWH radiation therapists have the most advanced equipment for minimal incidental tissue damage.

Surgeons at BWH are dedicated to delivering care that puts patients first. Therefore, they perform surgical procedures using minimal invasion with robotic-assisted technology and video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS).

These treatment approaches reduce the risk of surgical complications and improve patient recovery times.

Mesothelioma Clinical Trials & Research at Brigham and Women’s Hospital

The global medical community has a far better understanding of this rare disease thanks to Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s mesothelioma clinical trials and research studies.

Groundbreaking research at Brigham and Women’s Hospital set the bar for mesothelioma procedure and scientific excellence.

Surgeons at BWH are constantly making medical advances and working on dozens of clinical trials and research projects at all times.

BWH research staff develop new pharmaceutical drugs at IMP. Medications are based on the biological makeup of tumors and administered according to genetic responses.

These studies result in clinical trials that prove to be highly effective in treating mesothelioma.

Treatment trials involve active intervention in mesothelioma patients, while non-treatment trials aim to improve a patient’s life quality.

Talk with your doctor to learn more about mesothelioma clinical trials. You can download our helpful list of questions you can ask to start the conversation.

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Brigham and Women’s Hospital Insurance Information

While Brigham and Women’s Hospital accepts most major plans, insurance information is maintained by Mass General Brigham (formerly Partners Healthcare).

BWH accepts the following health insurance plans:

  • Aetna
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
  • Commonwealth Care Alliance
  • Coventry/First Health
  • Fallon Health
  • Harvard Pilgrim Health Care
  • Health New England
  • Humana
  • MultiPlan/Private HealthCare Systems
  • Senior Whole Health
  • Transplant Centers of Excellence Networks
  • TriCare
  • Tufts Health Plan
  • Tufts Public Plan
  • UniCare
  • United
  • Wellsense

Patients are advised to check with their insurance provider for the most accurate information before confirming treatment at BWH.

Seeking Mesothelioma Treatment at Brigham and Women’s Hospital Boston

Brigham and Women’s Hospital is world-renowned for its comprehensive mesothelioma treatment program.

Established by the top oncological surgeons specializing in mesothelioma, BWH strives for excellence in patient care.

To make an appointment at BWH, you can call 1-844-BWH-LUNG (1-844-294-5864), or you can schedule online.

If you would like dedicated assistance with all aspects of a mesothelioma diagnosis, including seeking care at one of the top mesothelioma cancer treatment centers, connect with a Patient Advocate at Mesothelioma Hope now.

With over 45 years of combined experience, our Patient Advocates offer personalized assistance to mesothelioma patients and their families.

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Mesothelioma Hope has no affiliation with and is not endorsed or sponsored by Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Any contact information listed is for informational purposes only. You have the right to contact Brigham and Women’s Hospital 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. Brigham and Women’s Hospital. US News Health. (n.d.). Retrieved May 16, 2024, from https://health.usnews.com/best-hospitals/area/ma/brigham-and-womens-hospital-6140215
  2. BWH 101: What You Need to Know First. Brigham and Women’s Hospital. (n.d.). Retrieved May 16, 2024, from https://www.brighamandwomens.org/about-bwh/human-resources/bwh-101
  3. International Mesothelioma Program. Brigham and Women’s Hospital. (n.d.). Retrieved May 16, 2024, from https://www.brighamandwomens.org/lung-center/chest-and-lung-cancer-programs/international-mesothelioma-program-overview
  4. The lung center leadership. Brigham and Women’s Hospital. (n.d.). Retrieved May 16, 2024, from https://www.brighamandwomens.org/lung-center/leadership
  5. Mass General Brigham. (2022, July). Brigham and Women’s Hospital: Insurance Plans Accepted. Retrieved May 16, 2024, from https://www.massgeneralbrigham.org/en/patient-care/patient-visitor-information/billing/insurance
  6. Raphael Bueno, MD. Find a Doctor at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. (n.d.). Retrieved May 16, 2024, from https://physiciandirectory.brighamandwomens.org/details/1303/raphael-bueno-thoracic_surgery-boston
  7. What is mesothelioma? Mesothelioma Diagnosis and Treatment – Brigham and Women’s Hospital. (n.d.). Retrieved May 16, 2024, from https://www.brighamandwomens.org/lung-center/diseases-and-conditions/mesothelioma#multidisciplinary
  8. What is mesothelioma? Mesothelioma Overview – Brigham and Women’s Hospital. (n.d.). Retrieved May 16, 2024, from https://www.brighamandwomens.org/surgery/thoracic-surgery/mesothelioma
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