Dr. Raphael Bueno MD

Dr. Raphael Bueno

Thoracic Surgeon

Address Brigham and Women’s Hospital
75 Francis Street
Boston MA, 02115
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About Dr. Raphael Bueno

Dr. Raphael Bueno is an award-winning and highly sought-after surgeon and cancer researcher who has made a name for himself among the world’s leading experts on mesothelioma.

Notably, Dr. Bueno leads the International Mesothelioma Program (IMP), which was established by Brigham and Women’s Hospital to help treat pleural mesothelioma.

Dr. Bueno also participates extensively in cancer research, with much of his research currently funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

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What Medical Conditions Does Dr. Bueno Treat?

As a thoracic surgeon with over 20 years of experience, Dr. Bueno specializes in treating cancers of the chest and lungs.

Dr. Bueno primarily treats pleural mesothelioma, which forms in the lining of the lungs. He has also conducted research into the other types of this cancer (peritoneal mesothelioma and pericardial mesothelioma).

Additionally, Dr. Bueno has extensive experience treating esophageal and lung cancer.

Dr. Bueno’s Medical Background

Dr. Bueno earned his medical degree from the joint program between Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Dr. Bueno then completed an internship and surgical residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Next, Dr. Bueno completed a cardiothoracic surgery residency at the Massachusetts General Hospital, also located in Boston.

After his residencies, Dr. Bueno returned to Brigham and Women’s Hospital to establish his surgical practice, and he has remained there ever since.

Dr. Bueno also currently leads the IMP at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, which was initially founded in 2002 by the late Dr. David Sugarbaker.

Medical Specializations

As a board-certified thoracic surgeon, Dr. Bueno’s main passions are in the further research of lung cancer and mesothelioma treatment, although he treats many more conditions.

Dr. Bueno divides his time between mesothelioma patients, participating in clinical trials to improve mesothelioma treatments, and important cancer research with genetics that could one day lead to a cure for mesothelioma.

Dr. Bueno specializes in the following procedures:

  • Cardiovascular surgery
  • General surgery
  • Needle biopsy of thoracic lesions
  • Pleurectomy with decortication (P/D)
  • Resection surgery
  • Thoracic surgery

Notably, Dr. Bueno performed the first image-guided video-assisted thoracic surgery (iVATS) procedure in the world on one of his lung cancer patients.

Highlights of Dr. Bueno’s Medical Career

Dr. Bueno’s career as a health care provider in cancer care has been extensive, and he has earned much local and national recognition along the way.

Awards and Accolades

As both an accomplished cancer researcher and surgeon, Dr. Bueno is frequently recognized and awarded for his achievements in both fields.

  • Some of his awards and accolades include:

    • Castle Connolly Award for America’s Top Doctors
    • Castle Connolly Award for America’s Top Doctors for Cancer
    • Checkbook Top Doc
    • Henry A. Christian Award
    • Listed as a “Top Doctor” in Boston Magazine
    • SuperDoc

Work Highlights

Through a number of leadership roles and memberships in relevant and notable organizations, Dr. Bueno has further extended his contributions to the fields of cancer research and treatment.

  • These memberships, affiliations, and roles include:

    • Board-Certified in Surgery, Surgical Critical Care, and Thoracic and Cardiac Surgery
    • Chief of the Division of Thoracic Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital
    • Co-Director of the Lung Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital
    • Member of the American Association for Thoracic Surgery
    • Member of the Cardiothoracic Surgery Network
    • Member of the European Society of Thoracic Surgeons
    • Member of the General Thoracic Surgical Club
    • Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School

Research and Published Works

Dr. Bueno regularly and frequently participates in research and articles that have appeared in peer-reviewed and respected medical journals.

  • Some of his most recent contributions include:

    • Carbone, M., et al. “Mesothelioma: Scientific clues for prevention, diagnosis, and therapy.” Published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Physicians, September 2019.
    • Hmeljak, J., et al. “Integrative Molecular Characterization of Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma.” Published in Cancer Discovery, December 2018.
    • Slyper, M., et al. “A single-cell and single-nucleus RNA-Seq toolbox for fresh and frozen human tumors.” Published in Nature Medicine, May 2020.
    • Wadowski, B., et al. “The Molecular Basis of Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma.” Published in Thoracic Surgery Clinics, November 2020.
    • Zilionis, R., et al. “Single-Cell Transcriptomics of Human and Mouse Lung Cancers Reveals Conserved Myeloid Populations across Individuals and Species.” Published in Immunity, May 2019.

Dr. Bueno’s Work in Cancer Treatment and Research

Much of Dr. Bueno’s current cancer research has been based on the discovery that while men tend to be diagnosed with mesothelioma more frequently, women diagnosed with mesothelioma tend to live longer.

This led Dr. Bueno to perform whole-genome sequencing on a set of mesothelioma tumors removed from patients of both genders. This allowed him to analyze their genetic compositions and identify the differences between them at a molecular level.

In turn, this has led to significant advances in how mesothelioma is understood on a genetic level, and will greatly impact the way it is prevented, diagnosed, and treated in new patients.

He's also studying genomics to improve the ways that cancers like mesothelioma are predicted, diagnosed, and treated.

Dr. Bueno’s Contributions to the Medical Profession

Dr. Bueno’s medical contributions to cancer research have brought about a greater understanding of genetics and mesothelioma. This is an important step in improving mesothelioma prognosis (patient health outlook).

In fact, his research in genetics is the first step in being able to prevent or eliminate gene mutations that can lead to mesothelioma. In doing so, he is helping to potentially create improved treatments and even vaccines to protect against mesothelioma in the future.

Additionally, his work has brought Brigham and Women’s Hospital to the forefront of cancer treatment and research and helped turn it into a world-class facility for mesothelioma patients.

Connect With Dr. Raphael Bueno

If you or a family member has been diagnosed with any type of mesothelioma, you may be a good candidate for the services of Dr. Bueno or other doctors who treat mesothelioma.

If you're looking to connect with Dr. Bueno or another mesothelioma specialist, the Mesothelioma Veterans Center can help. More than a third of mesothelioma victims are veterans, and we can help those affected find medical care and financial aid.

Call us at (877) 450-8973 or fill out our contact form anytime for mesothelioma support 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.

  1. Boston Magazine (n.d.). Top Docs Q&A: Raphael Bueno. Retrieved May 23, 2023, from https://www.bostonmagazine.com/health/2014/12/09/top-docs-raphael-bueno/
  2. Brigham and Women's Hospital (n.d.). Raphael Bueno, MD. Retrieved May 23, 2023, from https://physiciandirectory.brighamandwomens.org/details/1303/raphael-bueno-thoracic_surgery-boston
  3. International Mesothelioma Program (n.d.). Meet the IMP's Leader. Retrieved May 23, 2023, from https://impmeso.org/the-imp-program/imp-leadership/raphael-bueno-md/
  4. U.S. News and World Report (n.d.). Dr. Raphael Bueno, MD. Retrieved May 23, 2023, from  https://health.usnews.com/doctors/raphael-bueno-21635