Tufts Medical Center

800 Washington St., Boston, Massachusetts 02111

Tufts Medical Center is one of the top cancer centers for peritoneal mesothelioma. A top specialist sees patients and conducts HIPEC/cytoreductive surgery procedures at the hospital in downtown Boston, Massachusetts.

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Peritoneal Mesothelioma

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Tufts Medical Center

800 Washington St.

Boston, Massachusetts

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Dr. Martin Goodman

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More About Mesothelioma Treatment at Tufts Medical Center

Dr. Martin Goodman joined the center after a fellowship at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. He revolutionized the hospital’s treatment of peritoneal surface malignancies. This section of cancer includes peritoneal mesothelioma.

Dr. Goodman and his team see a handful of cases each year. It’s around the same amount leading to cytoreduction/HIPEC surgery. HIPEC is heated intraperitoneal chemotherapy, as doctors bathe the abdominal cavity in cancer-killing chemotherapy.

Tufts Medical Center is affiliated with Tufts University School of Medicine.

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Experienced Mesothelioma Specialists

    • Dr. Martin Goodman, Director of Peritoneal Surface Malignancies
    • Dr. Lori Pai, medical oncologist
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Affiliations

  • Tufts University School of Medicine
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Treatment Specialties

    • Cytoreductive/HIPEC surgery
    • Systemic chemotherapy
    • Immunotherapy

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Tufts Medical Center specializes in HIPEC surgery for peritoneal malignancies. Dr. Martin Goodman leads the peritoneal malignancy program, which includes peritoneal mesothelioma. This is one of the few centers able to treat peritoneal mesothelioma with aggressive surgery.

Why Choose Tufts Medical?

  • HIPEC program with high case volume
  • Option of using immunotherapy








Diagnosis:


Protocol for HIPEC/Cytoreduction Procedure

Dr. Goodman and his surgical team aim for an aggressive resection. Cytoreduction is called “debulking.” This process involves manually removing tumors from tissue and organs.

The team’s intent is to leave no tumors or microscopic cells in the abdominal cavity. Even with HIPEC washing the abdominal cavity, the best hope is to complete cytoreduction before the heated chemotherapy.

“We were trained to be very aggressive with these patients because they have the best outcomes,” Dr. Goodman said.  “If there’s a lot of gross disease and centers aren’t going to do surgery, we might say, ‘Yeah, we can take it out.’”

HIPEC surgery at this hospital takes 8‑14 hours, depending on the scope of disease. The omentum is taken out, plus any removable organs affected by tumors. These include the spleen, gallbladder and part of the colon. The drugs for HIPEC are cisplatin and doxorubicin.

“I think most of us who do this have a routine,” Dr. Goodman said, noting he starts cytoreductive surgery on the bottom right quadrant and moves counterclockwise around the cavity.

Patient selection often depends on metastasis to the small intestines. When there’s a specific level of tumor invasion on the small intestines, there’s a high rate of recurrence. Removing it will significantly reduce quality of life.

Recovery From HIPEC at Tufts Medical Center

Recovery from mesothelioma surgery is extensive. Tufts Medical Center prioritizes making sure patients are ready to move to each step. Inpatient recovery lasts 10‑12 days and outpatient recovery can take up to three months.

“The longer you’re in there, the longer it takes the patient to get better,” Dr. Goodman said of the recovery time.

Dr. Goodman stresses the importance of being as active as possible during recovery. This combats blood clots and pneumonia, two complications patients sometimes experience.

Patients return to Tufts Medical Center for the first postoperative follow‑up appointment within two weeks of discharge. They’ll see an oncology dietician to create a nutrition plan and individualized patient care plan.

Follow‑up lab work is done every three months after surgery for the first two years, then every six months for years 3‑5 after surgery. CT scans are done every six months for the first two years and annually for years 3‑5.

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Hospital Ranking

    • Not listed in the U.S. News & World Report 2021‑2022 Hospitals Honor Roll
    • Ranked 6th in Massachusetts

Other Therapies for Peritoneal Mesothelioma

If recurrence occurs quickly, patients are recommended to get systemic chemotherapy. This allows Dr. Goodman and the main medical oncologist, Dr. Lori Pai, to see if the tumors respond at all to the therapy. If so, a second HIPEC might work. If not, HIPEC might not be worthwhile.

If recurrence occurs years after the first HIPEC, then the recommendation is likely a second HIPEC as soon as possible.

Another option is immunotherapy. Opdivo and Yervoy were approved for malignant pleural mesothelioma. Another drug is Keytruda, which works the same as Opdivo. This is primarily an option for patients who can’t or don’t want to get HIPEC surgery.

“We had a couple patients on Keytruda and it worked great,” Dr. Goodman said, noting a patient switched from chemotherapy to Keytruda. “A lot of the disease melted away with Keytruda.”

Patients or families hoping to contact Dr. Goodman should reach out to our registered nurse. Karen Ritter can explain the process of contacting Tufts Medical Center or another cancer center. Email karen@mesotheliomaguide.com or request recommendations on cancer centers here.

Sources & Author

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About the Writer, Karen Ritter, RN BSN

Karen Ritter is a registered nurse and patient advocate for Mesothelioma Guide. She leads patients and families through their mesothelioma diagnosis, explaining treatments and support options. Karen joined Mesothelioma Guide in 2021.