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Moores Cancer Center at UC San Diego Health

Moores Cancer Center (MCC) is an academic medical center affiliated with UC San Diego School of Medicine. MCC’s top-notch lung cancer program is a trusted treatment center for many pleural mesothelioma patients. Its internationally renowned hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) program makes it a leading peritoneal mesothelioma treatment center.

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About Moores Cancer Center at UCSD

Moores Cancer Center opened in 1978 as the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Cancer Center. The center got its current name in the early 2000s. Moores Cancer Center is a leading facility in the treatment of mesothelioma.

In 2001, it was granted the elite status of Designated Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). This is the federal government’s highest rating for cancer care centers in the United States.

Patients treated at NCI-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers often have better survival and recovery rates.

In 2005, it opened a new facility to consolidate cancer research and patient care. This enabled researchers to work alongside medical experts focused on patient care.

Due to its relationships with local pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, MCC strongly emphasizes drug development. Another core focus is translational oncology, which transforms scientific discoveries into breakthrough cancer treatment options.

MCC is known for its excellent lung cancer program. It is also internationally recognized for using cytoreductive surgery with heated chemotherapy (HIPEC) to treat peritoneal mesothelioma and other illnesses. For these reasons, MCC is a top cancer treatment center for mesothelioma patients.

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Moores Cancer Center Location and Overview

Moores Cancer Center is in Jacobs Medical Center at UC San Diego Health.

Here are some fast facts about Moores Cancer Center:

  • 360 physicians and scientists from 22 departments within UC San Diego
  • The only NCI-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in San Diego County
  • Repeatedly ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the nation’s best in cancer care and pulmonology
  • Conducts hundreds of trials across all types of cancers and all phases of drug development
  • Internationally recognized experts in performing HIPEC to treat peritoneal mesothelioma

Moores Cancer Center Patient Experience

One of the benefits of being treated at an NCI-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Center is that patients receive multidisciplinary care. This treatment approach utilizes the knowledge and expertise of multiple specialists working together.

Since 2005, the cancer specialists at MCC have all worked out of the same building, making it easier to compare notes, discuss patient treatment options, and review patient progress.

In addition to more traditional specialties like medical oncology, surgery, radiation oncology, diagnostic imaging, and radiology, patients are treated by psychology, nutrition, nursing, and social work specialists.

MCC’s Patient and Family Support Services program includes:

  • Chaplain services and spiritual care
  • Counseling and therapy
  • Diet and nutrition
  • Financial counseling
  • Groups and classes
  • Interpreter services
  • New patient guide to cancer services
  • Patient and Family Advisory Council
  • Social workers

Moores Cancer Center understands the importance of family connections for patients undergoing mesothelioma treatment. This high level of emotional support helps make MCC a top mesothelioma treatment center for many families.

Mesothelioma Program at Moores Cancer Center

At Moores Cancer Center, medical staff members can treat pleural mesothelioma (which forms in the lung lining) and peritoneal mesothelioma (which develops in the abdomen).

The mesothelioma team at MCC includes:

  • Interventional radiologists
  • Medical oncologists
  • Pathologists
  • Pulmonologists
  • Radiation oncologists
  • Surgeons

MCC is internationally recognized for its expertise in HIPEC. This form of chemotherapy is used with surgery to treat peritoneal mesothelioma.

Moores Cancer Center performs more HIPEC procedures than any medical center in the western United States, with high patient success rates.

Because of its outstanding reputation with HIPEC, MCC is a top choice for many peritoneal mesothelioma patients.

Mesothelioma Doctors at Moores Cancer Center

The specialists at MCC are committed to delivering the most advanced treatments through customized care.

This personalized treatment approach comes from listening to patients and understanding what is most important to them.

The following doctors treat mesothelioma patients at MCC:

  • Dr. Joel Baumgartner
  • Dr. Lyudmila A. Bazhenova
  • Dr. Andrew Lowy
  • Dr. William Mitchell
  • Dr. Sandip Patel
  • Dr. Anthony Perricone
  • Dr. Jula Veerapong
  • Dr. Patricia Thistlewait

For help finding a mesothelioma doctor who is a good fit for you, try our FREE Doctor Match.

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Mesothelioma Treatment Options at Moores Cancer Center

Moores Cancer Center is equipped to treat both pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma and offers the latest treatment options.


Moores has a team of surgeons who specialize in removing cancers in the chest area. To treat pleural mesothelioma, they use a type of surgery called Video-Assisted Thoracic Surgery (VATS).

VATS allows the surgeon to use a video camera to see inside the lung, which means they can use smaller incisions. This helps patients recover faster.

They also perform another type of surgery called Cytoreductive Surgery with HIPEC. This surgery removes visible tumors from the abdomen or peritoneum before soaking the surgical site in warm chemotherapy.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy is the standard therapy for patients with an early stage of lung cancer who cannot have surgery. It can also shrink tumors before surgery and prevent tumors from returning after a patient has had surgery.

Some types of radiation therapy are intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT), and proton beam therapy.


Chemotherapy (chemo) uses drugs to kill cancer cells. One specialized form of chemotherapy often used to treat peritoneal mesothelioma is HIPEC. This involves circulating a warmed chemotherapy mixture in the abdominal cavity for 90 minutes before it is drained out.

HIPEC is often more effective than intravenous chemotherapy and has fewer side effects.


Immunotherapy is a new treatment that focuses on stimulating and re-educating the body’s immune system to target and eliminate cancer cells.

There are various forms of therapies available such as oral medication, infusions of therapeutic antibodies, or re-infusion of specifically modified cells that target the tumor.

Clinical Trials and Research at Moores Cancer Center

Research at Moores Cancer Center focuses on discovering and testing new agents for cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.

There are six research programs at Moores Cancer Center:

  1. Cancer Biology
  2. Cancer Genes and Genome
  3. Cancer Prevention and Control
  4. Hematologic Malignancies (cancers that start in blood cells)
  5. Reducing Cancer Disparities
  6. Tumor Growth, Invasion, and Metastasis

In these programs, researchers are:

  • Creating new diagnostic methods
  • Learning new ways of preventing cancer
  • Re-programming the immune systems of cancer patients
  • Studying the genetic makeup of tumors to identify other mutations that can be treated with specific drugs

As an academic facility, hundreds of clinical trials and research studies occur at MCC. Patients interested in participating in a mesothelioma clinical trial are encouraged to speak with their oncology care providers.

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Moores Cancer Center Insurance Information

Moores Cancer Center accepts most insurance plans and actively works with insurance providers to improve coverage continuously.

MCC accepts plans from these health insurance carriers:

  • Aetna
  • Anthem
  • AXA Assistance USA PPO
  • BCE Emergis (through MultiPlan)
  • Beech Street Capp Care PPO (through MultiPlan)
  • Benefits Panel Service PPO
  • Blue Shield of California
  • Cigna
  • CMN Global (Europe Assistance – Global Corporate Solutions) PPO
  • Covered California
  • Global Excel PPO
  • Health Net
  • Health Smart Preferred PPO (Interplan)
  • Medicare
  • Medi-Cal
  • Medi-Cal and Medicare (Dual-Eligible)
  • Molina Healthcare
  • MultiPlan PPO (PHCS)
  • National Health Solutions PPO
  • National Provider Network
  • Olympus Managed Healthcare PPO
  • Pacific Foundation for Medical Care (SD Foundation) PPO
  • PHCS PPO (Multiplan)
  • Prime Health Tennessee PPO
  • Quality Health Management PPO
  • TriWest
  • UC San Diego Student Health Insurance Plan (through Anthem)
  • UC Care PPO (through Anthem)
  • UC Core PPO (through Anthem)
  • UnitedHealthcare

You can ask your primary care doctor for authorization if you do not see your insurance plan listed above. Contact your health insurance provider for the most accurate coverage information before seeking treatment at MCC.

Seeking Treatment at Moores Cancer Center

Moores Cancer Center is one of the country’s top mesothelioma cancer treatment facilities. It is unique as pleural and peritoneal patients can be treated at MCC.

If you want to seek treatment at MCC, you can request an appointment online or call MCC at (800) 926-8273.

Are you or someone you know dealing with the challenges of a mesothelioma diagnosis? If so, you can count on Mesothelioma Hope for dedicated assistance.

Our Patient Advocates have over 45 years of combined experience in helping mesothelioma patients and their loved ones. They are available 24/7 to provide personalized and compassionate assistance. Get in touch with us now to access the support you need.

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Mesothelioma Hope has no affiliation with and is not endorsed or sponsored by Moores Cancer Center at UC San Diego Health (UCSD). Any contact information listed is for informational purposes only. You have the right to contact Moores Cancer Center at UC San Diego Health (UCSD) 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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  1. Clinical Trials. UC Health – UC San Diego. (n.d.). Retrieved January 19, 2023, from
  2. Heated Intraperitoneal Chemoperfusion (HIPEC). UC Health – UC San Diego. (n.d.). Retrieved January 19, 2023, from
  3. Lung Cancer. UC Health – UC San Diego. (n.d.). Retrieved January 19, 2023, from
  4. Malignant Mesothelioma Overview. UC Health – UC San Diego (2021, February 1). Retrieved January 19, 2023, from,FaqMalignantMesothelioma
  5. Moores Comprehensive Cancer Center. National Cancer Institute. (2021, February 10). Retrieved January 19, 2023, from
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