Washington Institute

Washington Cancer Institute is a not-for-profit, state-of-the-art academic medical center located in the heart of Washington, DC. It is the city’s largest provider of cancer care, and it operates on a patient-focused philosophy. Known for its excellent reputation in treating some of the region’s most advanced medical cases, the Washington Cancer Institute is a force for medical innovation, first-rate care, and high-level research and teaching.

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

About Washington Cancer Institute

The Washington Cancer Institute is a part of the MedStar Washington Hospital Center, which is one of the largest hospitals in the United States.

MedStar Washington Hospital Center is consistently recognized on U.S. News and World Report “Best Hospitals” list among many other awards and honors.

The Washington Cancer Institute was founded in 1992 and has earned a reputation of being the leading cancer center in the Washington, D.C. region.

It has become a model for comprehensive, multidisciplinary care for cancer centers across the nation.

The staff at Washington Cancer Institute take a personalized, patient-centered approach when it comes to cancer care. The center specializes in the most advanced techniques in medical, surgical and radiation oncology.

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Asbestos and Mesothelioma at Washington Cancer Institute

Those with asbestos-related cancers can expect a wide range of cutting-edge therapies at the Washington Cancer Institute.

Asbestos lung cancer patients will be seen at the Center for Comprehensive Lung Health to see an experienced team of lung specialists.

Regarding mesothelioma, the Washington Cancer Institute is best known for its treatment of peritoneal mesothelioma.

Retired as of 2020, Dr. Paul Sugarbaker pioneered the successful treatment of peritoneal mesothelioma with his signature surgical technique known as the Sugarbaker Procedure, which is a combination of cytoreductive surgery and targeted heated chemotherapy.

Patient Care Experience

At the Washington Cancer Institute, patients can expect to receive a personalized approach to their mesothelioma care and treatment.

The center provides advanced care in every oncology specialty and aims to use the newest therapies offered through clinical trials. The multidisciplinary team works together to determine the best treatment for the patient.

Patients and their families can also expect comprehensive nurse navigator and social work services to support them before, during, and after cancer treatment care.

Navigating cancer treatment is a life-changing event for patients and families, and the staff at Washington Cancer Institute is dedicated to providing support and compassion.

The Washington Cancer Institute is dedicated to providing the latest in technological advances, whether it is 3D imaging or CT and PET scanning.

This center is one of the most technologically advanced in the nation allowing them to accurately diagnose and effectively treat cancer.

Mesothelioma Experts

Reitred as of 2020, Dr. Sugarbaker was previously the director of the Center for Surgical Oncology at the Washington Cancer Institute where he was the leading surgeon for treating peritoneal mesothelioma.

He is the older brother of the prominent surgeon for pleural mesothelioma patients, the late Dr. David Sugarbaker of Baylor College of Medicine Lung Institute.

Radiation Oncology Specialists

  • Pamela Randolph-Jackson, MD
  • Adedamola B. Omogbehin, MD

Thoracic Surgery Specialists

  • Marc Margolis, MD

Surgical Oncology Specialists

  • Chukwuemeka Ihemelandu, MD
  • Mark Alan Steves, MD

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Treatment Options at Washington Cancer Institute

The Washington Cancer Institute takes a multidisciplinary approach when it comes to treating mesothelioma.

Patients with pleural, peritoneal, or other forms of mesothelioma will consult with a group of experts to determine the most appropriate treatment.

Multiple modalities may be used including medical, radiation, or surgical therapy along with supportive care.

The Washington Cancer Institute launched the Peritoneal Surface Malignancies program in 1993 in order to better serve those with mesothelioma in the peritoneum as well as other complex cancers of the abdomen and pelvis.

While a peritoneal surface malignancy diagnosis used to have a dire prognosis, many patients treated at the Washington Cancer Institute now live full, active lives.

Did You Know?

A prospective review of patients with peritoneal mesothelioma treated by the Sugarbaker Procedure revealed a median survival of 67 months.


The Washington Cancer Institute offers a number of modalities for surgery for peritoneal surface malignancies.

These mesothelioma surgeries include: 

  • Cytoreductive Surgery: As much of the tumor is removed as possible. It may require removing parts of other affected organs as well, like the bowels, liver, gallbladder, spleen, pancreas, and stomach. For women, it may also mean removing the reproductive organs. This approach, known as the Sugarbaker Procedure, is often paired with hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC).
  • Hemicolectomy: This procedure removes part of the colon.
  • Peritonectomy: This procedure strips away the peritoneum to remove tumors from the lining of the peritoneal cavity.


Depending on the type of peritoneal surface malignancy and how far it extends, patients may need chemotherapy before or after surgery.

Chemotherapy may be administered: 

  • Before Surgery (Neoadjuvant): If the tumor is growing quickly, chemotherapy may be needed before surgery. It’s typically taken at home for 2 months beforehand, with a month to recover before the surgery.
  • After Surgery: Some patients may also need chemotherapy following surgery, but only if the cancer is considered high-grade.

Doctors give HIPEC immediately after a peritonectomy or cytoreductive surgery while still in the operating room.

Doctors heat up chemotherapy drugs to make them more powerful and then soak the surgical site in the abdomen directly. HIPEC kills any remaining cancer cells straight at the cancer source without significantly affecting the rest of the body.

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Research at the Washington Cancer Institute

The Washington Cancer Institute is committed to providing state-of-the-art and emerging technologies that deliver the latest, safest and most effective cancer treatments. The center includes new therapies offered through clinical trials if possible.

Experts at the Washington Cancer Institute encourage patients to participate in clinical trials to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of promising treatment approaches.

There is no guarantee that new treatments from clinical trials will be better than those that already exist, but it’s a chance to gain access to innovative options that are not otherwise available.

Insurance Information

The Washington Cancer Institute accepts most managed care and commercial health insurance. Forms of payment also include all major credit cards, cash, and checks.

The administrative staff is available to assist patients with the necessary insurance and referral requirements. In case of questions or need for more information, contact billing and records at 800-280-9006.

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Seeking Treatment at Washington Cancer Institute

The Washington Cancer Institute is a world-renowned center for mesothelioma treatment, particularly peritoneal mesothelioma. An innovative surgical technique by one of the top peritoneal mesothelioma surgeons has extended the lives of countless patients.

The Washington Cancer Institute is dedicated to providing the most comprehensive and patient-centered care while striving to utilize the most technologically advanced techniques.

This center strives for excellence in clinical care by promoting a healing environment and providing compassion and support before, during and after treatment.

For more information on working with the experts at the Washington Cancer Institute, contact us today.

Mesothelioma Hope was founded by a team of passionate health advocates to educate people about this aggressive form of cancer. Mesothelioma affects thousands of people each year. Our team works tirelessly to give hope to those impacted by mesothelioma. Learn more about operating principles and our Editorial Guidelines.

7 References
  1. MedStar Washington Hospital Center, “Washington Cancer Institute”. Retrieved from: https://www.medstarwashington.org/our-services/washington-cancer-institute/. Accessed on May 11, 2018.

  2. MedStar Washington Hospital Center, “Patient Information”. Retrieved from: https://www.medstarwashington.org/our-services/washington-cancer-institute/why-choose-us/patient-information-for-washington-cancer-institute/. Accessed on May 11, 2018.

  3. MedStar Washington Hospital Center, “Radiation Oncology”. Retrieved from: https://www.medstarwashington.org/our-services/washington-cancer-institute/treatments/radiation-oncology/. Accessed on May 11, 2018.

  4. MedStar Washington Hospital Center, “Oncological Surgeons”. Retrieved from: https://www.medstarwashington.org/our-services/washington-cancer-institute/treatments/oncological-surgeons/. Accessed on May 11, 2018.

  5. MedStar Washington Hospital Center, “Peritoneal Cancer”. Retrieved from: https://www.medstarwashington.org/our-services/washington-cancer-institute/conditions/peritoneal-cancer/?_ga=2.115268751.949819886.1516425307-1771342363.1516425307#q=. Accessed on May 11, 2018.

  6. Surgical Oncology Clinicals of North America, “A review of peritoneal mesothelioma at the Washington Cancer Institute”. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14567020. Accessed on May 11, 2018.

  7. MedStar Washington Hospital Center. “Patient Resources at MedStar Washington Cancer Institute.” Retrieved from https://www.medstargeorgetowncancer.org/why-choose-us/patient-resources/medstar-washington-cancer-institute/#q={}. Accessed on January 19, 2018.

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