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More About Mesothelioma Treatment at AdventHealth Cancer Institute
Dr. Marcelo DaSilva joined the AdventHealth team in January 2020 after working for years at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. His official title is Chief of Thoracic Surgery Services.
He started the Mesothelioma International Treatment program (MITp) at AdventHealth Cancer Institute. The program began seeing patients in 2020 and continued through the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Dr. Marcelo DaSilva, surgeon
- Dr. Mark Socinski, medical oncologist
- Dr. Tarek Mekhail, medical oncologist
- Pleurectomy with decortication surgery
- HIPEC/cytoreductive surgery
- Intraoperative chemotherapy
- Chemotherapy, immunotherapy and radiation therapy
Get Connected to AdventHealth Cancer Institute
AdventHealth Cancer Institute is home of the Mesothelioma International Treatment program. This program started in 2020 and quickly grew in reputation due to Dr. Marcelo DaSilva. He previously worked at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
Why Choose AdventHealth?
- Full team of medical experts for mesothelioma
- Treats both pleural mesothelioma and peritoneal mesothelioma
- Heated chemotherapy used during surgery
Starting a New Program
AdventHealth Orlando has evolved into one of the leading hospitals for cancer treatment. While the hospital welcomed patients with mesothelioma, there wasn’t a dedicated team or protocol in place.
This changed when Dr. Marcelo DaSilva joined the staff. He quickly implemented the foundation for the MITp. Within six months of starting the program, it already had eight patients. Five of them were operable with aggressive surgery.
“I’m totally surprised,” Dr. DaSilva said of getting eight patients in the first six months. “And I’m honored.”
- Not listed in the U.S. News & World Report 2023-2024 Hospitals Honor Roll
- Ranked 41st for general cancer treatment
- Ranked 1st in Orlando
- Ranked 2nd in Florida
- High performing for gastrointestinal cancer surgery (peritoneal mesothelioma)
- High performing for lung cancer surgery (pleural mesothelioma)
Protocol for Mesothelioma Treatment
The protocol at AdventHealth’s MITp involves chemotherapy, surgery and intraoperative treatment. The process for pleural mesothelioma is as follows:
Pleurectomy — During this part of the operation, the outer lining of the pleura is removed. It’s usually peeled away from the chest wall. Since pleural mesothelioma is a cancer of the lining of the lungs, this procedure removes most of the tumors in the patient’s chest.
Decortication — Doctors peel the inner lining of the pleura off of the lung. This involves stripping tumors off the organ to prevent needing to remove it. It’s a key step in why this is a lung-sparing mesothelioma surgery. This is a tedious process as the surgeon must carefully remove cancer found around the lungs.
Intraoperative radiation therapy — Many patients receive intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT) as another way of killing tumors. IORT is the last step of Dr. Cameron’s approach. This method sends radiation beams directly at the diseased tissue. The purpose of IORT is to kill cancer cells not removed during surgery.
The protocol for peritoneal mesothelioma involves HIPEC/cytoreductive surgery. HIPEC sends heated chemotherapy directly into the abdominal cavity during surgery.
Dr. DaSilva limits mesothelioma surgery to epithelioid and biphasic cell histologies. Epithelioid mesothelioma has the best prognosis of the cell types. Biphasic is a mix of sarcomatoid and epithelioid cells. Sarcomatoid cell histology is the hardest to treat and usually not an option for surgery.
Get to Know the Team at AdventHealth
AdventHealth Cancer Institute promotes a multidisciplinary approach to treating mesothelioma. This requires having a team of medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, program navigators and more.
Some of the noteworthy members in the MITp include:
- Medical oncologists Dr. Mark Socinski and Dr. Tarek Mekhail
- Radiation oncologist Dr. Rajesh Shah
- Program navigator Brenda Rzeszutko
- Administrative assistant Deborah Huang
- Nurse practitioner Vanessa Cichon
How to Get Treatment at AdventHealth Cancer Institute
Of the estimated 3,000 mesothelioma cases diagnosed annually in the United States, around 230 are in Florida. This data is from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2016. Neighboring states Alabama and Georgia have roughly 100 cases combined.
These patients — and those from across the country — have another option now for life-saving treatment at AdventHealth.
We can help you visit this cancer center for a consultation or schedule a virtual meeting. The first step is contacting our staff. There are multiple ways to do this. You can email our patient advocate, nurse Karen Ritter, at email@example.com, or you can request cancer center recommendations at this link.
Sources & Author
- Marcelo DaSilva, MD. AdventHealth. Retrieved from: https://www.adventhealth.com/find-doctor/doctor/marcelo-dasilva-md-1922064138. Accessed: 08/27/2021.
- Marcelo DaSilva, MD, FACS. AdventHealth Cancer Institute. Retrieved from: https://www.adventhealthcancerinstitute.com/meet-our-cancer-team/marcelo-dasilva. Accessed: 10/04/2021.
- Mark A. Socinski, MD. AdventHealth Cancer Institute. Retrieved from: https://www.adventhealthcancerinstitute.com/meet-our-cancer-team/mark-socinski. Accessed: 10/04/2021.
- Tarek Mekhail, MD. AdventHealth Cancer Institute. Retrieved from: https://www.adventhealthcancerinstitute.com/meet-our-cancer-team/tarek-mekhail. Accessed: 10/04/2021.
- Rajesh Shah, MD. AdventHealth. Retrieved from: https://www.adventhealth.com/find-doctor/doctor/rajesh-shah-md-1811911779. Accessed: 10/04/2021.
- Vanessa Cichon, NP, S. AdventHealth. Retrieved from: https://www.adventhealth.com/find-doctor/doctor/vanessa-cichon-np-s-1821585498. Accessed: 10/04/2021.
- AdventHealth Orlando. U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved from: https://health.usnews.com/best-hospitals/area/fl/florida-hospital-6390690. Accessed: 10/04/2021.