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Headshot of pleural mesothelioma specialist Dr. Raphael Bueno

Dr. Raphael Bueno

Thoracic Surgeon

Dr. Raphael Bueno is a respected thoracic surgeon currently practicing at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. He has completed extensive research on malignant pleural mesothelioma and is one of the few mesothelioma specialists with ample experience treating three forms of mesothelioma: pleural, peritoneal, and pericardial. Learn more about Dr. Bueno and get our help connecting with him today.

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About Dr. Bueno

  • 20+ years experience researching and treating multiple types of mesothelioma
  • Chief of the Division of Thoracic and Cardiac Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston
  • Performed the world’s first image-guided video-assisted thoracic surgery (iVATS) procedure on a lung cancer patient

Dr. Raphael Bueno leads the International Mesothelioma Program (IMP) at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He is also affiliated with the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Women’s Faulkner Hospital, and Carney Hospital.

He’s one of the few mesothelioma doctors who can treat three different types of this rare cancer:

  • Pleural mesothelioma
  • Peritoneal mesothelioma
  • Pericardial mesothelioma

Dr. Bueno is dedicated to cancer research and has explored a wide range of topics that are changing the landscape of mesothelioma detection and treatment.

Much of Dr. Bueno’s research is funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), which is a testament to the important work he is doing for mesothelioma patients.

Our team can help you get connected with mesothelioma specialists like Dr. Bueno with our Free Doctor Match service. Get started now.

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Dr. Bueno’s Background

Dr. Raphael Bueno’s medical education began at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he earned his medical degree from their joint program. Next, Dr. Bueno completed his internship and surgical residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

He completed a residency in cardiothoracic surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital before returning to Brigham and Women’s Hospital to establish his surgical practice and to create a new research lab for its comprehensive cancer center.

Dr. Bueno has remained at Brigham and Women’s ever since, completing significant research on cancer genomics — the study of all of a person’s genes — and developing new treatment therapies.

Medical Specializations

Dr. Bueno is board-certified in general surgery, thoracic surgery, and surgical critical care. He specializes in lung cancer and mesothelioma research and is interested in the use of genetic engineering to better detect all forms of mesothelioma and predict their outcomes.

The majority of his research focuses on using genomics to predict, detect, and treat thoracic cancers like pleural mesothelioma.

Dr. Bueno is also interested in airway management and swallowing problems, esophageal diseases and cancers, and disorders of the trachea.

“There is much more optimism today about the future of mesothelioma treatment than there was 10 years ago.

We have a much better understanding of the disease at the molecular level. There are better drugs now, and better ones coming down the line.”
—Dr. Raphael Bueno, mesothelioma specialist

Dr. Bueno’s Career Accomplishments

Dr. Bueno is an accomplished cancer researcher who is consistently recognized with awards such as America’s Top Doctors.

He founded the current cancer research lab at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, which is used to study and develop innovative treatments for mesothelioma and other forms of cancer.

Additionally, he leads Brigham and Women’s International Mesothelioma Program, a mesothelioma research group founded in 2002 by the late Dr. David Sugarbaker.

As the Chief of Thoracic Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Dr. Bueno co-directs the hospital’s Lung Center. These two leadership positions reflect his status as an elite surgeon.

Awards & Honors

  • Boston Magazine: Top Doctors
  • Castle Connolly America’s Top Doctors
  • Castle Connolly America’s Top Doctors For Cancer
  • Henry A. Christian Award
  • SuperDoc

Professional Affiliations

  • American Association for Thoracic Surgery
  • Cardiothoracic Surgery Network
  • European Society of Thoracic Surgeons
  • General Thoracic Surgical Club
  • The Society of Thoracic Surgeons

Recent Publications

  • Bryan, Darren, et al. (2022). Thoracic surgeon utilization of an electromagnetic navigational (ENM) system to facilitate bronchoscopic and transthoracic needle biopsy of thoracic lesions. CHEST Journal.
  • Dolan, Daniel, et al. (2022). Hyperthermic intraoperative chemotherapy (HIOC) for stage IVa thymic malignancy may improve 5-year disease-free survival. Journal of Surgical Oncology.
  • Carbone, Michele, et al. (2022). Medical and surgical care of mesothelioma patients and their relatives carrying germline BAP1 mutations. Journal of Thoracic Oncology.
  • Lapidot, Moshe, et al. (2022). Outcomes of pleurectomy decortication in biphasic mesothelioma. The Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery.

Prepare for your next appointment with a specialist like Dr. Bueno with our free download, 14 Questions to Ask Your Doctor.

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Dr. Bueno’s Current Work

Dr. Bueno’s work is divided between leading the thoracic surgery team at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, overseeing its Lung Center, and directing cancer research through its International Mesothelioma Program.

His innovative cancer research is attempting to use genomics to improve the tools that predict, diagnose, and treat cancers like mesothelioma.

By observing which genes impact and influence cancer growth, Dr. Bueno and his team can identify patterns and propose novel methods of interrupting the multiplication of cancer cells.

Notable Research

Dr. Bueno and his colleagues have noticed an interesting trend with mesothelioma: Men are more likely to develop it, but women diagnosed with mesothelioma live longer.

Using the tumor tissue bank at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Dr. Bueno reviewed the tumors from 10 malignant pleural mesothelioma patients and performed whole-genome sequencing on them.

This process allowed the research team to analyze the genetic composition of the tumors and identify molecular differences that occurred between men and women. There were numerous discoveries as a result.

Dr. Bueno’s research showed that men were more likely to experience CDKN2A gene deletions, which was linked to lower survival rates.

The genetic study also identified mesothelioma gene mutations in the BAP1, MYH9, and RHOA genes, which did not appear to discriminate by gender but still reduced survival rates.

As a result of this study, Dr. Bueno and his research team have a stronger understanding of the connection between genetics and mesothelioma. This is the first step in developing treatments that prevent or eliminate gene mutations and could someday lead to a cure for mesothelioma.

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Dr. Bueno’s Healing Philosophy

Dr. Bueno has been instrumental in helping build Brigham and Women’s Hospital into the world-class facility it is today. As its Chief of Thoracic Surgery, he has helped develop a comprehensive approach to mesothelioma and cancer treatment.

“We created a multidisciplinary team [at Brigham and Women’s] …. to focus on the patient independently of any health care providers. This way we can schedule and help the patient’s needs and use all the technology in a collaborative way to do what’s best for the patient.”
—Dr. Raphael Bueno, mesothelioma specialist

He personifies Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s five core values that reflect the principles used to guide decisions and behavior.

These core values include:

  1. Collaboration
  2. Empathy
  3. Inclusion
  4. Integrity
  5. Professionalism

To get more information about working with Dr. Raphael Bueno and other top mesothelioma specialists at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, contact our team today — our Patient Advocates are standing by 24/7 to get you started on your healing journey.

Mesothelioma Hope has no affiliation with and is not endorsed or sponsored by Dr. Raphael Bueno. Any contact information listed is for informational purposes only. You have the right to contact Dr. Raphael Bueno 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. Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “Raphael Bueno, MD.” Retrieved June 12, 2024, from
  2. Boston Magazine. “Top Docs Q&A: Raphael Bueno.” Retrieved June 12, 2024, from
  3. National Cancer Institute. (n.d.). Definition of genomics. Retrieved June 12, 2024, from
  4. U.S. Health News. “Dr. Raphael Bueno.” Retrieved June 12, 2024, from
  5. International Mesothelioma Program. “Meet the IMP’s Leader.” Retrieved June 12, 2024, from
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