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Sylvester comprehensive cancer center

Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center

Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center provides highly specialized, multidisciplinary mesothelioma care. This facility is part of the University of Miami Health System and the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Doctors at Sylvester can treat both pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma.

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About Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center

Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center is based at the University of Miami. This facility is recognized nationwide and internationally for its groundbreaking cancer treatment and compassionate care.

Sylvester has over 2,400 doctors, researchers, and staff working together to provide world-class care for all forms of cancer. Notably, doctors at Sylvester can treat the two most common forms of mesothelioma.

These are: 

  • Pleural mesothelioma: This is the most common type and forms in the lung lining (pleura)
  • Peritoneal mesothelioma: This is the second most common type and it develops in the abdominal lining (peritoneum)

This is a unique benefit because most cancer centers only treat one type of mesothelioma. Since each type develops in a different part of the body, unique treatments are required for each.

As a university hospital, Sylvester also has the resources and equipment to conduct innovative research and offer leading clinical trials.

“No one is more prepared to fight your cancer.”

— Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center

If you want information on whether Sylvester could be a good fit for you or a loved one, get your FREE Mesothelioma Guide.

The guide is shipped overnight to your front door and has over 90 pages of information for mesothelioma patients and their families.

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  • Symptoms & staging
  • Average prognosis
  • Life-extending treatments

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Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center Quick Facts

  • Offers targeted, multidisciplinary mesothelioma treatment tailored to each patient
  • Ranked among the top 10 robotic video-assisted surgery programs in the southeastern United States
  • Nationally ranked in U.S. News & World Report 2022-2023 Best Hospitals for Cancer
  • Recognized by the National Cancer Institute as a Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Listed in the Journal of the American Medical Association “Elite Cancer Centre”
  • Provides access to cutting-edge treatments provided through NCI’s Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program and National Clinical Trials Network program

Sylvester’s Mesothelioma Program

Mesothelioma patients at Sylvester receive integrated and specialized care depending on which type of mesothelioma they have.

  • Patients with pleural mesothelioma are typically treated with surgery to remove tumors from the lungs, with other therapies like chemotherapy and radiation being used as well to destroy cancer at a microscopic level. The lung closest to the patient’s cancer may be taken out too.
  • Peritoneal mesothelioma patients can receive abdominal cytoreductive surgery combined with heated chemotherapy (HIPEC) — a treatment that helps many patients live for 4 years or more.

Mesothelioma Treatment Options at Sylvester

Patients at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center receive treatment individualized to their specific case. The treatment plan often involves a multimodal approach using more than one treatment.

Mesothelioma patients at Sylvester may receive one or more of the following treatments:

  • Surgery: Pleural mesothelioma surgeries, including lung-removing extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) and the lung-sparing pleurectomy with decortication (P/D). Cytoreduction is also used to surgically treat peritoneal mesothelioma.
  • Radiation Therapy: Oncologists use targeted radiation to deliver precision treatment in less time. It may be used on its own or after extrapleural pneumonectomy.
  • Chemotherapy: For patients with early-stage mesothelioma, chemotherapy is often used with surgery to reduce recurrence. For later-stage mesothelioma, chemotherapy is used to ease symptoms and enhance quality of life. HIPEC is specifically used to help peritoneal mesothelioma patients at Sylvester.
  • Supportive Care: Sylvester’s comprehensive treatment plans offer a wide range of supplementary care and support services, including nutrition, exercise, mental well-being, mindfulness, pet therapy, and services for family members.

Further, Sylvester doctors are studying several new treatments available in clinical trials, such as the use of surgery followed by radiation to help pleural mesothelioma patients live longer.

Treatment Update

Mesothelioma Doctors at Sylvester

Dr. Dao Nguyen currently serves as the Section Chief of Thoracic Surgery at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Other mesothelioma doctors at Sylvester include:

  • Dr. Alan S. Livingstone
  • Dr. Alan Dal Pra
  • Dr. Steven E. Rodgers
  • Dr. Estelamari Rodriguez
  • Dr. Nestor R. Villamizar

Dr. Mecker Moller previously treated patients at this facility but has since transferred to the University of Chicago.

Finding a mesothelioma specialist is a personal decision that can sometimes feel overwhelming. We can help match you with a mesothelioma specialist if you would like assistance.

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Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center Patient Experience

Sylvester aims to create a streamlined and compassionate treatment plan for each patient. Patients who visit Sylvester first meet a Cancer Care Coordinator who answers questions and explains the next steps.

The patient care coordinator organizes the entire treatment process and acts as a continuous contact point while the patient meets other health care professionals.

Each case is different, but patients may work with some of the following specialists:

  • Medical oncologists
  • Surgical oncologists
  • Radiologists
  • Nurse practitioners
  • Researchers
  • Support staff (nutritionists, pharmacists, and others)

Sylvester also connects patients and their families with a mental health expert to help them with mesothelioma diagnosis and treatment.

Patients traveling to Sylvester by car receive a discounted valet parking rate. Or they can park in a nearby parking garage and ride the free shuttle to the hospital. Different shuttles operate on other routes and are available to patients and their families for a reasonable cost.

Mesothelioma Clinical Trials and Research

University Of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center research programs are currently conducting over 450 clinical research trials and cancer research initiatives.

These projects aim to advance care in cancer prevention, screening, diagnosis, treatment, and quality of life for all cancer types by finding game-changer breakthroughs in treatments.

It is important to note that not all mesothelioma patients are candidates for clinical trials. Additionally, clinical trials are ongoing with varying enrollment dates and deadlines.

Contact our Patient Advocates 24/7 if you want help finding information on potential mesothelioma clinical trials.

Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center Insurance Information

Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center accepts all major traditional insurance providers. It works with Medicare, Medicaid, CHAMPUS, Workers’ Compensation, and several health organizations. To confirm insurance acceptance, check with your provider or call Sylvester at 305-243-1000.

Some insurance plans accepted at Sylvester include Aetna, Cigna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and United Healthcare.

Sylvester provides financial assistance to patients who meet eligibility and documentation requirements. Patients can read the hospital’s financial assistance policy for more information.

Mesothelioma Guide Images
Get Your Free 2024 Mesothelioma Guide
  • Symptoms & staging
  • Average prognosis
  • Life-extending treatments

Get Your Free Guide

Seeking Treatment at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center

If you want treatment at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center or another of the mesothelioma cancer treatment centers, contact our Patient Advocates, available 24/7.

The entire Mesothelioma Hope team is committed to helping patients get the best possible care. To that end, our Patient Advocates have helped a wide range of other patients and loved ones get treatments from skilled doctors and cancer centers near them.

Don’t wait: Our team is standing by to assist you right now.

Mesothelioma Hope has no affiliation with and is not endorsed or sponsored by Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. Any contact information listed is for informational purposes only. You have the right to contact Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center 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. About Sylvester: Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center | University of Miami Health System. (n.d.). Retrieved January 23, 2024, from https://umiamihealth.org/sylvester-comprehensive-cancer-center/about-sylvester
  2. Gonzalez, D. (2011, May 18). Hot chemo a hit with cancer patients. NBC 6 South Florida. Retrieved January 23, 2024, from https://www.nbcmiami.com/news/health/Hot-Chemo-122064779.html
  3. Mesothelioma: Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center | University of Miami Health System. (n.d.). Retrieved January 23, 2024, from https://umiamihealth.org/sylvester-comprehensive-cancer-center/treatments-and-services/lung-and-chest-cancer/mesothelioma
  4. Phase II Medi4736 in combination with chemotherapy for first-line treatment of unresectable mesothelioma. Phase II MEDI4736 in Combination With Chemotherapy for First-Line Treatment of Unresectable Mesothelioma – Full-Text View – ClinicalTrials.gov. (n.d.). Retrieved January 23, 2024, from https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02899195
  5. Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. National Cancer Institute. (n.d.). Retrieved January 23, 2024, from https://www.cancer.gov/research/infrastructure/cancer-centers/find/sylvester-miami
  6. University of Miami Health System. (n.d.) Nestor Ricardo Villamizar, MD. Retrieved January 23, 2024, from https://doctors.umiamihealth.org/provider/Nestor+Ricardo+Villamizar/525395
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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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