Medically Reviewed By
Karen Ritter, RN BSN
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Important Facts About Mesothelioma Cancer Centers
- Mesothelioma cancer centers offer treatment for mesothelioma and support resources for patients and families. Treatment includes surgery, immunotherapy, chemotherapy and more. Support resources include housing, lodging, support groups and financial assistance.
- There are cancer centers in most states, which means you can find a hospital for treatment close to where you live.
- Each year, the top hospitals in the U.S. are ranked. Find the top cancer treatment centers on this list that have specialized treatment for mesothelioma to narrow your search.
How We Can Help You Find a Mesothelioma Cancer Center
This page includes a list of comprehensive cancer centers specializing in mesothelioma. However, you might wish for a more personalized approach. If you are deciding on a cancer center, you should ensure your choice offers mesothelioma specialty care along with other resources for patients and their loved ones.
Mesothelioma Guide’s patient advocates provide information on the best cancer facilities in the country and the factors to consider. For insight into every cancer center, contact lead patient advocate and registered nurse Karen Ritter or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. She can help find the best mesothelioma cancer hospital for your diagnosis.
Best Mesothelioma Cancer Centers
Rankings of the Best Cancer Centers for Mesothelioma
The U.S. News & World Report publication has an annual ranking of the top hospitals. This ranking includes top mesothelioma cancer centers, but not all the centers on this list are known for mesothelioma care.
Below is the list of only the mesothelioma hospitals that made the U.S. News & World Report 2023 - 2024 rankings. This should help with you find a center for mesothelioma treatment:
- Mayo Clinic (Rochester, Minnesota)
- Johns Hopkins Hospital (Baltimore)
- UCLA Medical Center (Los Angeles)
- Massachusetts General Hospital (Boston)
- University of California San Francisco Health, UCSF Medical Center (San Francisco)
- Hospitals of the University of Pennsylvania, Abramson Cancer Center (Philadelphia)
- Brigham and Women’s Hospital (Boston)
- Mount Sinai Health System (New York City)
- University of Michigan Health, Michigan Medicine (Ann Arbor)
- Vanderbilt University Medical Center (Nashville)
How to Find a Mesothelioma Cancer Center
There is a suggested process to take to find a place for mesothelioma treatment. Follow these four steps when wondering how to find a mesothelioma cancer center:
Research which hospitals have mesothelioma specialists, including surgeons and oncologists. You should find a hospital with a dedicated mesothelioma program and team.
Look for centers offering multiple therapies and treatment options for mesothelioma. You’ll improve your survival chances by going to a cancer center that provides surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, immunotherapy and more.
Look for a cancer center close to your home. While this is not the most important step, it can help you choose between two centers or narrow down a long list of qualified hospitals.
Contact a patient advocate for assistance. Mesothelioma patient advocates devote their time to helping people make the best choices for treatment of their mesothelioma. They’ll help you find a hospital, walk you through what information you need, and provide you with the best contact information.
They’ll help you find a hospital, walk you through what information you need, and provide you with the best contact information.
What to Look for in a Cancer Center
Each cancer center offers a different experience for patients. These experiences are based on qualities of the hospital, such as the staff available to patients and the technologies for treatment. Mesothelioma is a rare cancer, so it's imperative to find help from a team of mesothelioma specialists to ensure you get quality care. After you receive a mesothelioma diagnosis, find a hospital with all or at least most of these qualities.
Full Treatment Team
The top mesothelioma treatment centers have multiple specialists. The team ensures that patients receive the best care possible from a wide range of mesothelioma doctors and nurses. The treatment team positions include:
- Medical oncologist
- Radiation oncologist
- Nurse practitioner
- Program navigator
The names of these positions may be different at cancer centers.
Surgery as an Option
The most aggressive treatment for mesothelioma is surgery. The most qualified cancer centers have a surgeon with extensive experience performing surgery on mesothelioma patients.
The surgeries for mesothelioma include: extrapleural pneumonectomy (removes the affected lung); pleurectomy with decortication (removes the lining around the lungs); and cytoreduction with HIPEC (removal of visible tumors and using heated chemo during surgery). The mesothelioma center you choose should have at least one surgeon who can perform the necessary surgery for your specific cancer.
Multimodal Treatment Plan
A specialized cancer center should offer multiple types of treatment, including surgery, chemotherapy and immunotherapy. This means patients meet regularly and work with their treatment team to develop a course of treatment specific to each patient.
Ability to Treat Each Stage and Type of Mesothelioma
Each stage and type of mesothelioma requires a different approach to treatment. Pleural mesothelioma and peritoneal mesothelioma are the two main types of this cancer. Malignant pleural mesothelioma is the most common, but peritoneal mesothelioma patients deserve specialized care. Pericardial mesothelioma is a rare form of the disease, and some centers offer treatment for this as well. Not every specialist is experienced in treating each stage of mesothelioma or each type. Finding a cancer center with the ability to treat every stage and type is important. This is part of finding a hospital with multimodal treatment options.
Accepting Most Insurance Plans
Healthcare can be expensive, so finding a certain cancer center that accepts your insurance is important. Most of the top mesothelioma centers accept major insurance providers, including Medicare.
Designation From National Cancer Institute
Patients should seek out cancer centers with accreditation from prestigious organizations. The highest of these credentials is cancer centers receiving NCI designation from the National Cancer Institute. Many mesothelioma research and treatment centers are NCI-designated cancer centers. Here’s the list of NCI-designated hospitals.
Affiliated to Prestigious Universities
You can also look for mesothelioma centers affiliated with a major university. These cancer centers have the most research funding, best clinical trials, top specialists and a history of success and innovation. Examples of university-affiliated centers in the U.S. include:
- Brigham and Women’s Hospital (Harvard University)
- NYU Langone Health
- University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
- University of California Medical Center
- University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
- Vanderbilt University Medical Center
- Michigan Medicine (University of Michigan)
- University of Chicago Medical Center
Location Close to Your Home
Finding a cancer center that is located nearby may be preferable. This is not the most important quality, as the best specialists and treatment options might require travel. Some top mesothelioma centers will work with local doctors to minimize your travel.
Host Site for Mesothelioma Clinical Trials
Clinical trials and mesothelioma research are a key ally for patients. The top cancer centers are more likely to be a host site for mesothelioma clinical trials. These centers are also likely to recruit you for trials if you fit the criteria.
You can also ask your doctor for recommendations to join clinical trials at other hospitals. The top centers usually communicate about openings for clinical trials. Your mesothelioma specialist should have information on trials at other centers even if you can’t join one at that hospital.
Why to Choose a Cancer Center Over a Local Hospital or Oncologist
You shouldn’t take chances with treatment for mesothelioma, which is why you should look for only the best doctors and cancer centers.
A new report published in the JAMA Network highlights how a hospital’s quality can make all the difference in a cancer patient’s survival. There’s even a significant difference between a top-ranked hospital and its network of affiliate centers.
The analysis explicitly compared elite hospitals to affiliate hospitals that share the brand but don’t have the same resources. The discrepancies clearly show that — to give yourself the most hope for living a long and healthy life — you should settle for nothing less than the most prestigious hospitals.
The Relationship Between Elite Hospitals and Affiliates
Most top cancer centers lead a network of institutions. They allow the use of their brand name to raise the prestige of the affiliate locations.
For instance, Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston is one of the best cancer centers in the United States. It also has an innovative mesothelioma treatment program, making it an attractive option for people with this cancer. In addition to the primary location, seven other affiliates around Massachusetts use the “Brigham and Women’s” branding.
MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston is another example. The institution has five affiliates that use the “MD Anderson Cancer Center” brand name. These affiliates are in Arizona, California, Florida and New Jersey.
According to the JAMA Network report, half of survey respondents believed that affiliate hospitals would have the same survival and safety benefits as those of the most renowned institutions.
The report defined “brand-sharing affiliates” as hospitals that were within the network and included the brand name. The analysis of survival data and safety included 56 top-ranked hospitals and 206 affiliates.
High-Volume Facilities Provide Better Outcomes
The National Cancer Database evaluated newly diagnosed non-metastatic pleural mesothelioma patients. During the study, the database analyzed the overall survival of patients by cancer facility volume.
The top cancer centers are considered high-volume medical facilities for seeing and treating cases of mesothelioma, while low-volume ones are local hospitals or oncologists since the cancer is rare and these facilities won’t see many cases.
The investigation also took into perspective the well-being of patients after surgery. Evaluated pleural mesothelioma patients had either undergone an extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) or a pleurectomy/decortication (P/D).
1,307 patients were treated. 621 patients were treated in lower-volume facilities, and 686 patients were treated in high-volume facilities (HVFs), such as top cancer centers.
While the overall survival added on 3 months, outcomes of individuals who received treatment at a high-volume facility experienced:
- Shorter hospital stays
- Lower hospital readmission rates
- Lower mortality rates
Better Hospital for Cancer Treatment Equals Better Survival
The study involved nearly 120,000 cancer cases, all of which required surgery. The six types of cancer analyzed were: esophageal, gastric, lung, pancreatic, colorectal and bladder. Lung cancer treatment is similar to pleural mesothelioma treatment because the two cancers form in the same general area. Surgery for pleural mesothelioma may involve removing the affected lung.
Around two-thirds (nearly 80,000) of the patients underwent treatment at one of the U.S. News and World Report’s top 50 cancer hospitals between 2013 and 2016. Around one-third (nearly 40,000) of the cases involved an affiliate of these medical institutions. Affiliates may have fewer resources and smaller staff to treat patients.
At the affiliate hospitals, the post-surgery mortality within 90 days was higher for every type of cancer surgery. The long-term survival for patients at affiliate hospitals was 77% of top-ranked hospitals. In fact, the elite hospitals had better one-, two- and three-year survival rates for all six cancer types analyzed.
Patients at top-ranked cancer hospitals were more likely to receive preoperative chemotherapy (20.8% compared to 7.8%) and preoperative radiation (12.3% compared to 5.1%),” the report reads.
Frequently Asked Questions About Mesothelioma Cancer Centers
Which cancer centers are the best for mesothelioma?
What should I look for in a mesothelioma cancer center?
You should look for a cancer center with multiple surgical oncologists, oncologists and other medical professionals who have experience treating mesothelioma. Most surgeons and oncologists don’t have much knowledge of mesothelioma due to the rarity of this cancer. Find a cancer center with a team dedicated to mesothelioma, including a:
- Radiation specialist
- Nurse practitioner
- Program navigator
How many mesothelioma cancer centers are in the United States?
There are quite a lot of cancer centers with mesothelioma teams and protocols in place. Our website lists more than 20 options, with possibilities in each region of the United States to reduce travel. There are many other cancer hospitals not listed that you can contact through our patient advocates: Carl Jewett email@example.com) and Karen Ritter, RN (firstname.lastname@example.org). They can help you find the best option for your specific case.