Mesothelioma Center Review – Washington (D.C.) Cancer Institute
The Washington Cancer Institute (WCI) is located in the Washington Hospital Center, the largest private hospital in Washington D.C. WCI has been acclaimed as the leading provider of cancer treatment in Washington D.C. and the surrounding area.
WCI provides patients with access to a full range of treatment for most cancers, including mesothelioma. This includes a highly experienced staff of oncologists, radiologists and surgeons who work with other specialists to deliver care that addresses all the patient’s needs in one facility. Clinical care is supplemented by the provision of counseling, education, and related services to assist patients and families who are dealing with a mesothelioma diagnosis and treatment. The Lung Cancer Center is the site of weekly meetings for patients and providers to review the patient’s treatment plan.
The Peritoneal Surface Malignancies Program was established at WCI in 1993 to treat patients with cancers that affect the abdomen and pelvis. Typically, these types of cancers have a poor prognosis. But expert clinicians and advanced treatment techniques have led to a significant improvement in patient prognosis. Patients presenting with peritoneal mesothelioma are considered for treatment in the program through a screening process that allows clinicians to review the patient’s medical history. Patients then meet with oncologists at the center’s Oncology Specialty Center and are presented with their treatment options.
Dr. Paul Sugarbaker, M.D., a nationally recognized expert in peritoneal mesothelioma, is the director of the Peritoneal Surface Malignancies Program. Dr. Sugarbaker is considered the world’s preeminent doctor for the treatment of peritoneal surface malignancies. With decades of experience providing care to patients with uncommon and aggressive abdominal cancers, Dr. Sugarbaker has been at the forefront of groundbreaking procedures and treatments for mesothelioma.
One of Dr. Sugarbaker’s most recognized treatments is known as the Sugarbaker procedure. This treatment has been used to treat 300 patients diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma at WCI and three other leading cancer treatment centers. The Sugarbaker procedure consists of a combined regimen of cytoreductive surgery and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC). Cytoreductive surgery is performed to remove cancerous areas from the abdomen. If the cancer is widespread in this region, the surgery also entails removing parts of several organs such as the stomach, intestines, liver or pancreas. This surgery, in combination with chemotherapy, may effectively destroy much of the cancer and prolong life expectancies in those with the severe cases of mesothelioma. After undergoing this procedure, patients who were given a life expectancy of under one year ultimately survived a median of five years or longer.
WCI has made significant investments in research initiatives that help bring clinical trials to patients with mesothelioma. Patients at WCI are given numerous opportunities to participate in clinical trials that could improve their own outcomes and expand the efficacy of new medications and other treatment options. As there is no cure for mesothelioma, WCI encourages participation in clinical therapies that may bring subtle improvements in a patient’s prognosis or indicate that a different or revised approach is necessary.
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