West Los Angeles VA Medical Center

Located in California, the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center treats veterans with mesothelioma from across the nation. This VA hospital is considered a center of excellence in mesothelioma treatment and is staffed by a number of cancer specialists.

11301 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90073

Thoracic Surgery Division Chief
Dr. Robert Cameron

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About the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center

There are only a few VA facilities that treat veterans with mesothelioma, and one of them is the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center.

Photo of the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center

Dr. Robert Cameron, head of thoracic surgery, has 25 years of experience treating mesothelioma and pioneered one of the most effective treatments for the disease: a surgery that removes the lining of the lungs and any mesothelioma tumors within.

Under his leadership, the West Los Angeles VA has treated many veterans with pleural mesothelioma. Any veteran with mesothelioma who has VA health care is eligible for treatment at this facility.

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Fast Facts About the West LA VA Medical Center

  • Mesothelioma cancer patients are typically treated using surgery and radiation therapy at this facility.
  • Dr. Cameron has successfully treated hundreds of mesothelioma patients, including many U.S. veterans.
  • There are two outpatient care centers that support the West Los Angeles VA.
  • Eligible patients may be able to take part in clinical trials of new mesothelioma treatments offered by the facility.

Mesothelioma Treatment at West Los Angeles VA Medical Center

The West Los Angeles VA Medical Center offers many different treatment plans thanks to its affiliation with the Comprehensive Mesothelioma Program, located at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine.

These plans may include lung-sparing surgery and other treatments that focus on helping patients live longer and improving their quality of life.

Mesothelioma treatments available at this cancer center include:

Surgery for Mesothelioma

Dr. Cameron pioneered the pleurectomy and decortication (P/D) surgery for pleural mesothelioma. Here, the lining of the lungs and all mesothelioma tumors are removed. This mesothelioma surgery revolutionized the way many pleural mesothelioma patients are treated.

The other main surgery for pleural mesothelioma, an extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP), requires one of a patient’s lungs to be taken out. This poses a high risk of complications and the surgery is harder to recover from.

"In the past, surgeons removed the entire lung [with an EPP] and some surgeons still do. But it’s a surgery that’s more difficult to recover from. We’ve learned 30 years ago that it wasn’t necessary."

— Dr. Robert Cameron, West Los Angeles VA mesothelioma doctor

The P/D offers many of the same survival benefits as an EPP with fewer complications.

Extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP)
Pleurectomy with decortication (P/D)
Extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP)
Pleurectomy with decortication (P/D)
Type of Mesothelioma
Pleural mesothelioma
Pleural mesothelioma
What is removed during surgery?
  • Visible tumors
  • Diseased lung
  • Part of the pericardium
  • Part of the diaphragm
  • Part of the parietal pleura
  • Visible tumors
  • Parietal pleura
  • Diaphragm
  • Portion of the pericardium
Time in Hospital
2 weeks average
7-10 days
Recovery Time
6-8 weeks average
4-6 weeks average
90-Day Mortality Rate
Complication Rate
Surgery Risks
View Risks
View Risks
View Benefits
View Benefits
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Radiation Therapy

The West Los Angeles VA medical team typically uses radiation therapy to treat mesothelioma patients following a P/D surgery.

One of the most common types of radiation therapy used by Dr. Cameron and his team is intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT). IMRT uses computers to precisely deliver radiation to a mesothelioma tumor while limiting the amount of radiation healthy tissues receive.


Doctors at the VA West Los Angeles Medical Center use chemotherapy drugs to kill cancer cells and improve a patient’s quality of life.

Chemotherapy can notably treat sarcomatoid mesothelioma, a particularly aggressive type of this cancer. The specialists at the VA West Los Angeles Medical Center have learned that sarcomatoid mesothelioma responds to types of chemotherapy drugs used to treat sarcomas (cancers of connective tissue).

Want to find top treatments after a mesothelioma diagnosis? Contact our team to get started.


With immunotherapy, patients are given specialized medications that stimulate the body’s immune system, prompting it to fight cancer cells.


Cryotherapy involves inserting a needle into a tumor and freezing it. Though still in early use, the results from studies conducted by Dr. Cameron are promising.

Mesothelioma Doctors at West Los Angeles VA Medical Center

People who are seeking treatment for a mesothelioma diagnosis at the West Los Angeles VA will have access to one of the top doctors in this field, Dr. Robert Cameron.

  • Dr. Robert Cameron

    Dr. Cameron is responsible for the groundbreaking P/D procedure and has been treating mesothelioma patients for more than 25 years. Further, he can treat veterans from anywhere in the country.

The West Los Angeles VA also includes mesothelioma specialists such as radiologists, patient advocates, nurse practitioners, social workers, and many more.

Improving Your Mesothelioma Prognosis at West Los Angeles VA Medical Center

When you seek mesothelioma care at the West Los Angeles VA, you will receive a tailored treatment plan with a multimodal approach to help with your mesothelioma prognosis (health outlook).

While there is not yet a cure for mesothelioma, medical facilities such as the VA West Los Angeles Medical Center offer treatments to help you live longer and with less pain.

It may be possible to live for years, if not decades after a pleural mesothelioma diagnosis by getting care at the West Los Angeles VA or another cancer center.

  • PhillipDiagnosed in 2015

    Phillip, a U.S. Army veteran, was diagnosed with mesothelioma after suffering from a long-term cough. He sought treatment from Dr. Cameron and underwent surgery and radiation. He regularly sees Dr. Cameron for follow-up visits and to date, his cancer hasn't returned.

Learn more about how to improve your mesothelioma prognosis in our Free Veterans Packet.

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Finding Mesothelioma Treatment at West Los Angeles VA Medical Center

The West Los Angeles VA Medical Center provides a range of treatments for veterans with mesothelioma and supports for veterans and their loved ones.

A nurse in scrubs walks with an older man in business casual attire. Both are wearing facemasks.Veterans and their health care providers can submit referrals to get treatment at the West Los Angeles VA no matter where they live. In fact, Dr. Cameron is so committed to treating veterans with mesothelioma that he’s said the West Los Angeles VA “can even take patients without a referral.”

Our team at the Mesothelioma Veterans Center can help you get treatment from top hospitals and facilities like the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center. We can put you in touch with treatment centers and help you file for VA benefits and private forms of compensation.

Use our Doctor Match to find a specialist at the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center.


The Mesothelioma Veterans Center has no affiliation with and is not endorsed or sponsored by Dr. Robert Cameron. The contact information above is listed for informational purposes only. You have the right to contact Dr. Cameron directly.

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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  2. Nakamura, A., & Kuribayashi, K. (2023, February 28). Do we still need to debate the merits of pleurectomy/decortication vs. extrapleural pneumonectomy for malignant pleural mesothelioma? Retrieved March 7, 2024, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9989799/
  3. Pacific Heart, Lung & Blood Institute. (n.d.). Mesothelioma Research. Retrieved March 7, 2024, from https://www.phlbi.org/research/mesothelioma-research-topics/
  4. UCLAHealth. (n.d.). Mesothelioma Program. Retrieved March 7, 2024, from https://www.uclahealth.org/departments/surgery/divisions/thoracic-surgery/clinical-programs/mesothelioma-program
  5. Zhou, N., et al. (2021, May 07). Extrapleural Pneumonectomy Versus Pleurectomy/Decortication for Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma.
    Retrieved March 7, 2024, from https://www.annalsthoracicsurgery.org/article/S0003-4975(21)00846-8/fulltext
  6. Zick, S. (2023, April 5). Mesothelioma: We Have One of the Best Doctors to Treat It. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Retrieved March 7, 2024, from https://www.va.gov/greater-los-angeles-health-care/stories/mesothelioma-we-have-one-of-the-best-doctors-to-treat-it/