Dr. Raphael Bueno

Dr. Raphael Bueno is a respected cardiothoracic surgeon who has completed extensive research on malignant pleural mesothelioma. He is also one of the few mesothelioma specialists who has ample experience with all three forms of mesothelioma: pleural, peritoneal, and pericardial. As a result of this expertise, Dr. Bueno has become a highly sought-after surgeon and cancer researcher.

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Dr. Bueno is dedicated to his cancer research and has explored a wide range of topics relating to mesothelioma, including innovative work on biomarkers and detection, chemotherapy drug resistance, and cell signal pathways—important research fields that are changing the landscape of mesothelioma detection, diagnosis and treatment. A significant portion of Dr. Bueno’s research is funded by the National Cancer Institute, which is a testament to the important work he is doing for mesothelioma patients.

“There is much more optimism today about the future of mesothelioma treatment than there was ten 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. Bueno.

Dr. Bueno is affiliated with Brigham and Women’s Hospital, as well as the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Women’s Faulkner Hospital, and Carney Hospital. He speaks English, Spanish, and Hebrew.

Dr. Bueno’s Location

International Mesothelioma Program

Brigham & Women’s Hospital

75 Francis Street

Boston, MA, 02115


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Dr. Bueno’s Career Highlights

  • Research Director of the International Mesothelioma Program
  • Chief of Thoracic Surgery at the renowned Brigham and Women’s Hospital
  • Co-Director of Brigham and Women’s Hospital Lung Center
  • Over 20 years’ experience researching and treating mesothelioma
  • Experienced with pleural, peritoneal, and pericardial mesothelioma

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 MD from their joint program. Next, Dr. Bueno completed his internship and surgical residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Dr. Bueno then went to Massachusetts General Hospital to complete a residency in cardiothoracic surgery, before returning to Brigham and Women’s Hospital to establish his surgical practice and create a new research lab for the comprehensive cancer center.

Dr. Bueno has remained at Brigham and Women’s ever since, completing significant research into cancer genomics and developing new treatment therapies. With passion and leadership, Dr. Bueno has worked his way into several coveted positions, including Chief of Thoracic Surgery and Co-Director of the Lung Center.

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 biogenetics, including the gene-ratio test, 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.

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

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Dr. Bueno’s Career Accomplishments

Dr. Bueno is a talented cancer researcher who has repeatedly been recognized with awards such as America’s Top Doctors. He developed 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. Brigham and Women’s also hosts the International Mesothelioma Program, a mesothelioma research group founded by the late Dr. David Sugarbaker, which is now directed by Dr. Bueno.

Dr. Bueno’s projects are largely funded by the government-run National Cancer Institute, which speaks to the value of the work he is doing.

Dr. Bueno is recognized as the Chief of Thoracic Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and co-directs the hospital’s Lung Center. These two leadership positions reflect his status as an elite surgeon given Brigham and Women’s extraordinarily talented surgical staff.

  • Awards & Honours
  • America’s Top Doctors
  • America’s Top Doctors For Cancer
  • Boston Magazine: Top Doctors
  • SuperDoc
  • ACS Fellow
  • Henry A. Christian Award

Dr. Bueno’s Current Work

Dr. Bueno’s current work is divided between several illustrious responsibilities: leading the thoracic surgery team at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, overseeing the Lung Cancer, and directing cancer research through the International Mesothelioma Project.

The bulk of Dr. Bueno’s career is currently focused on his innovative cancer research, which is attempting to improve tools that predict, diagnose, and treat cancers like mesothelioma, using genomics. 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.

Dr. Bueno is a member of many professional organizations, including:

  • American Association for Thoracic Surgery
  • General Thoracic Surgical Club (GTSC)
  • The Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS)
  • Cardiothoracic Surgery Network (CSN
  • European Society of Thoracic Surgeons (ESTS)

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Notable Work by Dr. Bueno

Dr. Bueno and his colleagues noticed an interesting trend with mesothelioma: men were more likely to have it, yet women diagnosed with mesothelioma lived 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. For example, men were more likely to experience CDKN2A gene deletions, which was linked to lower survival rates. In addition, women were more likely to have TP53 mutations.

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

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

Dr. Bueno’s Healing Philosophy

Dr. Bueno is a senior member of staff at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and has been instrumental in developing the hospital into the world-class facility it is today. As the Chief of Thoracic Surgery, he has helped develop a multi-disciplinary approach to mesothelioma and cancer treatment.

“We created a multidisciplinary team [at Brigham and Women’s], in my field of lung specialists, that round the spectrum and put together a center involving surgeons, radiologists, medical specialists, pathologists, nurses, and others 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 of the patient.” —Dr. Bueno.

Dr. Bueno is also aligned with Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s mission, which attempts to serve the community by providing the absolute best quality of healthcare, expanding medical boundaries through innovative research, and teaching the future generation of surgeons and health care professionals.

Brigham and Women’s Hospital has five additional core values, reflecting the principles used to guide decisions and behavior. These core values are integrity, collaboration, inclusion, professionalism, and empathy.

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.

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.

4 References
  1. Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “Featured Cancer Investigators.” Retrieved from http://www.brighamandwomens.org/research/centers/cancer/Researchers/Bueno.aspx. Accessed on December 21st, 2017.

  2. Boston Magazine. “Top Docs Q&A: Raphael Bueno.” Retrieved from http://www.bostonmagazine.com/health/2014/12/09/top-docs-raphael-bueno/. Accessed on December 21st, 2017.

  3. U.S. Health News. “Dr. Raphael Bueno.” Retrieved from https://health.usnews.com/doctors/raphael-bueno-21635. Accessed on December 21st, 2017.

  4. International Mesothelioma Program. “Meet the IMP’s Leader.” Retrieved from https://impmeso.org/the-imp-program/imp-leadership/raphael-bueno-md/. Accessed on December 23rd, 2017.

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