Mesothelioma Center Review – Mount Sinai Medical Center
At Mount Sinai Medical Center, the treatment of mesothelioma is overseen by a team of clinicians that includes thoracic surgeons, medical and radiation oncologists, pulmonologists, radiologists and pathologists. This team of medical professionals works collaboratively to implement a three-prong approach to the treatment of most mesothelioma cases. Through a combination of surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy, Mount Sinai offers its patients a course of treatment designed to prolong their life expectancy.
Each patient’s medical plan is designed to address that individual’s cancer profile and prognosis. This multi-disciplinary approach is easily coordinated at Mount Sinai where patients have access to a range of specialists from all fields in one localized facility. These leading medical professionals work closely together so that treatment options take into account the patient as a whole.
Mesothelioma care at Mount Sinai is managed by the Department of Thoracic Surgery, under the leadership of Dr. Raja M. Flores, M.D. Dr. Flores has been at the forefront of mesothelioma care for over 15 years. His approach to mesothelioma focuses on methods that spare the patient’s affected lung when surgery is necessary. Dr. Flores and his team implement treatments that seek to improve the patient’s overall quality of life.
Research is an important aspect of mesothelioma treatment under the direction of Dr. Flores. Dr. Flores’s research initiatives include a comparison of two leading surgical treatment for mesothelioma: extrapleural pneumonectomy (which consists of the removal of the lung and the lining) and pleurectomy (which spares the lung and removes only the lining).
Another significant research endeavor under Dr. Flores involves molecular testing. Molecular testing entails an analysis of cancerous tissue, including DNA and protein levels, to identify gene mutations that may trigger pathways related to cell growth. Mount Sinai has been testing a drug called Erlotinib, which is designed to inhibit one such gene mutation, known as epidermal growth factor receptor. Mount Sinai’s research indicates that Erlotinib may result in a marked increase in a patient’s response compared to the response to chemotherapy alone. Patients who are deemed eligible can participate in molecular testing at Mount Sinai.
In addition to molecular testing, Mount Sinai has been engaged in research to designate molecular pathways and proteins that play a role in the development of mesothelioma. Transcription factors, proteins that regulate the transcription rate of genetic information by attaching to a DNA sequence, contribute to mesothelioma. Research at Mount Sinai has focused on designing tests to identify mesothelioma tumors with irregular transcription factors. Mount Sinai researchers are also involved in developing therapies that deter the expression of abnormal transcription factors.
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