Brigham and Women's Hospital

Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) is located in Boston, Massachusetts, and is considered a top mesothelioma cancer center. It is home to the International Mesothelioma Program, which has been treating this cancer for over 20 years and is the largest program of its kind. Learn how to get treated at BWH.

75 Francis Street
Boston, MA 02115

Chief, Division of Thoracic and Cardiac Surgery
Dr. Raphael Bueno

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About Brigham and Women's Hospital

Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston is considered one of the nation’s best cancer centers and ranks among the top 10 hospitals in the U.S. in many categories for 2022-23, according to U.S. News and World Report.

BWH has been on the cutting edge of treating many different types of diseases, including mesothelioma. The medical team at BWH has been treating this cancer for 0ver 30 years.

Mesothelioma is highly aggressive, but the oncologists (cancer doctors), nurses, and researchers at BWH are committed to helping patients live longer and finding new treatments.

Brigham and Women's Hospital exterior

Notably, BWH partnered with the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute to create the International Mesothelioma Program (IMP). Founded in 2002, this world-renowned program helps evaluate, diagnose, and treat mesothelioma patients. Over 300 mesothelioma patients come to the IMP for consultations every year.

If you or a loved one is a veteran with mesothelioma, the expert cancer doctors at BWH may be able to help you. The Mesothelioma Veterans Center can connect you with top cancer centers, doctors, and other benefits right now — get started with our Free Veterans Packet.

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  • Top Treatments
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  • Improving Prognosis

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Quick Facts About Brigham & Women’s Hospital

  • The IMP treats more cases of mesothelioma than any other cancer program.
  • Over 80 medical caregivers are a part of Brigham's IMP team.
  • Renowned specialist Dr. Raphael Bueno leads BWH's mesothelioma treatment team.
  • BWH treats mesothelioma using both well-accepted treatments and cutting-edge ones.

Mesothelioma Treatment at Brigham and Women's Hospital

The cancer specialists at BWH and the IMP offer a wide variety of mesothelioma treatment options to help patients.

The medical team at the IMP treats pleural mesothelioma, which forms in the lung lining and is by far the most common type of this cancer.

Mesothelioma treatments used by the IMP include:

  • Chemotherapy: This therapy uses medications to target mesothelioma tumors, alleviate symptoms, and provide life-extending treatment.
  • Extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP): This surgical treatment, available to those with early-stage malignant pleural mesothelioma, involves removing the affected lung, lung lining (pleura), and as much of the cancer as possible.
  • Pleurectomy with decortication (P/D): This mesothelioma surgery involves removing the affected pleura and cancer tumors.
  • Radiation therapy: This therapy uses X-rays and other energy beams to attack mesothelioma tumors.
  • Clinical trials: It may be possible for some patients to undergo newer treatments through a clinical trial, which may possibly help them live longer or with less pain.

BWH offers multimodal treatment plans — plans that combine different types of treatment — for the best results.

"We have not met one person on the IMP team – doctors, nurses, the patient liaison, social worker, chaplains and the house manager, and everyone else – who hasn’t given 100 percent, all the time."

— Josephine F., wife of IMP mesothelioma patient

Further, the BWH Program in Peritoneal Surface Malignancy offers hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC), which is the main treatment used for peritoneal mesothelioma. This type is less common than pleural mesothelioma and forms in the abdominal lining.

Mesothelioma Patient Care Team at Brigham and Women's Hospital

When mesothelioma patients come to get treated at BWH and the IMP, they'll be assigned a team of doctors, nurses, and other caring medical staff. This team will do their best to meet each patient's needs.

BWH's mesothelioma care team includes: 

  • Anesthesiologists
  • Cardiologists
  • Epidemiologists
  • Medical oncologists
  • Nurses
  • Pathologists
  • Patient advocates
  • Physicians assistants
  • Pulmonologists
  • Social workers
  • Radiation oncologists
  • Thoracic surgeons

Mesothelioma Doctors at BWH

Many notable doctors treat patients at BWH.

The IMP is led by Dr. Raphael Bueno, who is also the Chief of Thoracic and Cardiac Surgery at BWH. Dr. Bueno is world-renowned for his decades of experience in treating pleural mesothelioma.

Further, Dr. Nelya Melnitchouk leads BWH's Program in Peritoneal Surface Malignancy and may be able to help peritoneal mesothelioma patients.

Other top BWH mesothelioma doctors include:

  • Dr. Lucian R. Chirieac
  • Dr. Edmund S. Cibas
  • Dr. Antonio Coppolino, III
  • Dr. Christopher T. Ducko
  • Dr. Kelly Jean Fitzgerald
  • Dr. Jonathan Alfred Fletcher
  • Dr. Narjust Florez
  • Dr. Michael T. Jaklitsch
  • Dr. Hassan A. Khalil
  • Dr. Raymond H. Mak
  • Dr. Robert F. Padera, Jr.
  • Dr. Michael Seth Rabin
  • Dr. Lynette Marie Sholl
  • Dr. Desiree A. Steimer
  • Dr. Scott James Swanson

Looking to find top mesothelioma doctors? We can help. Contact our team right now.

Mesothelioma Clinical Trials and Research

Mesothelioma patients may have the opportunity to take part in clinical trials at BWH and through the IMP.

Clinical research builds on the knowledge learned through applied and basic research and it plays a role in developing treatments that directly improve patient care.

— International Mesothelioma Program

For example, the IMP is currently testing new drugs in clinical trials that target the genetic makeup of mesothelioma tumors. When combined with surgery, the hope is that mesothelioma patients will live longer.

Improving Your Mesothelioma Prognosis at Brigham and Women’s Hospital

An older man holds a doctor's handThanks to the experience of the Brigham and Women's Hospital team and the variety of treatments they offer, it may be possible for you to greatly improve your mesothelioma prognosis (health outlook).

Generally speaking, mesothelioma patients only live 12-21 months after being diagnosed and there's no cure for this cancer.

However, a woman who was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma in 1996 and treated with surgery at BWH is still alive today. She was given six months to live before undergoing surgery.

"The IMP team has saved my life, and I hope I am able to pay it forward."

— Sissy H., IMP patient and 26-year mesothelioma survivor

By working with the BWH team, it may be possible for you or a loved one to become a long-term survivor as well.

Mesothelioma Support & Resources at Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Many mesothelioma patients seeking treatment at Brigham and Women’s Hospital do not live in the Boston area.

For this reason, BWH has set up programs for transportation and housing for patients from out of town.

This medical center is also in-network with a number of health insurance plans and can connect mesothelioma patients with financial assistance support as well.

Insurance plans accepted at BWH include: 

  • Aetna
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
  • Commonwealth Care Alliance
  • Coventry/First Health
  • Fallon Health
  • Harvard Pilgrim Health Care
  • Health New England
  • Humana
  • MultiPlan/Private HealthCare Systems
  • Senior Whole Health
  • Transplant Centers of Excellence Networks
  • TriCare
  • Tufts Health Plan
  • Tufts Public Plan
  • UniCare
  • UnitedHealthcare
  • Wellsense

Finding Mesothelioma Treatment at Brigham and Women’s Hospital

A mesothelioma diagnosis can be very overwhelming, but with great doctors and treatment like that at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, you may be able to become a long-term survivor.

U.S. veterans with mesothelioma have already proven themselves to be willing to fight, but they don’t have to do it alone.

Our team can help veterans or anyone battling mesothelioma to connect with the best mesothelioma doctors and cancer centers in the country. We can also help you pursue benefits offered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and financial compensation.

Get started right now with our Free Veterans Packet, which has information about top treatments, doctors, benefits, and resources.

Veterans Support Team
Christopher Dryfoos PhotoWritten by:

Contributing Author

Christopher Dryfoos is a journalist and member of the American Medical Writers Association (AMWA). As the grandson of the U.S. Navy’s first forensic pathologist, he aims to help veterans with mesothelioma access needed care.

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