Dr. Paul H. Sugarbaker
Dr. Paul H. Sugarbaker is a mentor, surgical investigator, physician, and educator who lectures internationally about treating gastrointestinal and abdominal cancer and peritoneal mesothelioma. An expert in mesothelioma and a veteran in thoracic surgery, he has been working in the field nearly as long as the effects of mesothelioma have been known. Today, Sugarbaker is one of the nation's preeminent gastrointestinal surgical oncologists and medical specialists dedicated to treating peritoneal mesothelioma and rare abdominal and colorectal cancers. Sugarbaker is also the current director of the Peritoneal Surface Malignancy Program at the Washington Cancer Institute and is involved with several regional gastrointestinal oncology and malignancy programs.
On the road to becoming one of the nation's top experts on peritoneal mesothelioma, Sugarbaker studied chemistry at Wheaton College in Illinois before completing his medical degree at Cornell University Medical College in 1967. While securing his reputation as an excellent surgeon, Sugarbaker completed residencies at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston along with a fellowship at Massachusetts General.
Sugarbaker also completed a master's degree in basic sciences at Harvard's graduate school later in his career. During the 1970s and 1980s, Sugarbaker served as a senior investigator and the head of the Colorectal Cancer Section of the National Cancer Institute and National Institute of Health. Later, he served as the medical director of the Washington Cancer Institute between 1989 and 1993.
Throughout his career, Sugarbaker pioneered mesothelioma treatment methods and published more than 700 articles for peer-reviewed journals, scientific publications, and textbooks. His textbook on the surgical removal of sarcomas has been translated into five languages for global publication. The international scientific community has also awarded Sugarbaker for his innovative achievements in treating peritoneal mesothelioma and rare abdominal cancers. Belgium, Argentina, England's Royal College of Surgeons, and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, Scotland have all given Sugarbaker medical awards. He also received a Distinguished Service Award from the International Spirit of Life Foundation in Washington, D.C.
In addition to providing life-saving surgeries for peritoneal mesothelioma patients and abdominal cancer patients, Sugarbaker has pioneered a number of innovative procedures for targeting large, deep-seated tumors in the chest cavity and abdominal wall. Treatment methods pioneered by Sugarbaker include heat treatments using a specialized device known as Thermotron RF-8, which heats tumors and induces cell death. Sugarbaker also experimented with applications of heated chemotherapy medications, which are delivered directly to the chest area during surgery. These types of applications are now are among the most successful treatment methods for patients with peritoneal mesothelioma.
The doctor currently sees patients at the Washing Cancer Institute within the Washington Hospital Center, an organization that consistently ranks among the nation's best regional hospitals.