Dr. David Sugarbaker
A 1979 graduate of Cornell University Medical College, Dr. David Sugarbaker is considered one of the world's leading experts in diagnosing and treating pleural mesothelioma. His experience and research in thoracic oncology is unparalleled, as he continues to research and study new treatment therapies for mesothelioma sufferers, bringing hope to those who previously were ineligible for surgery. He is the founder of the International Pleural Mesothelioma Program at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, working in conjunction with the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, where he is the chief of surgical services, and Harvard University Medical School, where Sugarbaker is a professor of surgery.
Tri-Modal Therapeutic Approach
In an effort to improve survival rates among pleural mesothelioma patients, Sugarbaker pioneered a treatment regimen known as the tri-modal approach, which has proved to significantly extend patient survival rates. This approach combines surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy to attack cancerous tumors in the lungs. Sometimes, it applies chemotherapy and radiation before surgery, shrinking the tumors to a manageable size for easier removal. Most often, the radiation and/or chemotherapy is applied after surgery.
In addition to Sugarbaker's focus on research and treatment of the ever-growing number of cases of mesothelioma now being diagnosed, his efforts are also being directed at providing education and support to mesothelioma patients and their families. This includes the involvement of palliative care specialists, social workers, and spiritual counselors.