University of Maryland Medical System

22 S. Greene Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21201

University of Maryland Medical System welcomes patients with pleural mesothelioma to the hospital and cancer center. Surgery, chemotherapy and other treatment options are used on a case-by-case basis.

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Pleural Mesothelioma

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University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center

22 S. Greene Street

Baltimore, Maryland

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Dr. Bartley Griffith

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More About Mesothelioma Treatment at University of Maryland Medical System

University of Maryland Medical System has a network of hospitals along with a top cancer center. The University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center features more than a half dozen mesothelioma specialists.

The medical system includes the Mesothelioma and Thoracic Oncology Treatment and Research Center. A dedicated center and team for mesothelioma is an ally for patients needing top-end cancer care.

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Experienced Mesothelioma Specialists

    • Dr. Bartley Griffith, thoracic surgeon
    • Dr. Nader Hanna, thoracic surgeon
    • Dr. Michael Naslund, thoracic surgeon
    • Dr. Shelby Stewart, thoracic surgeon
    • Dr. Katherine Scilla, medical oncologist
    • Dr. Pranshu Mohindra, radiation oncologist
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Affiliations

    • University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center
    • University of Maryland School of Medicine
    • University of Maryland Medical Center
    • Mesothelioma and Thoracic Oncology Treatment and Research Center
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Treatment Specialties

    • Pleurectomy/decortication surgery
    • Chemotherapy
    • Proton radiation therapy
    • Immunotherapy
    • Tumor treating fields

Get Connected to University of Maryland

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University of Maryland Medical System welcomes mesothelioma patients to its Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center. Patients will work with a team of specialists.

Why Choose University of Maryland?

  • Treatment and research center dedicated to mesothelioma
  • Personalized treatment plans for patients








Diagnosis:


Trimodal Therapy at University of Maryland Medical Comprehensive Cancer Center

University of Maryland Medical System’s approach to mesothelioma care is multimodal therapy, meaning multiple options used at different stages of the process. Since the medical system has a top cancer center and the Mesothelioma and Thoracic Oncology Treatment and Research Center, doctors can form an individualized approach for each patient.

The cancer center calls its approach to mesothelioma care “trimodal therapy.” The trio of options are surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Immunotherapy is a fourth option and can substitute.

The University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center website has a section dedicated to mesothelioma information, including how the center approaches treatment and care. The website states that mesothelioma cannot usually be cured but “tri-modality therapy is much more effective at slowing disease progression compared to a single therapy (surgery or chemotherapy).”

Part of the multimodal therapy program for mesothelioma is radiation therapy. University of Maryland Medical System is beginning to incorporate proton radiation therapy, a more precise type of radiation, into the Mesothelioma and Thoracic Oncology Treatment and Research Center. This cancer center is only one of a few in the United States to use proton radiation for mesothelioma.

Lung-Sparing Surgery for Pleural Mesothelioma at University of Maryland Cancer Center

Doctors at the University of Maryland Comprehensive Cancer Center rely mostly on pleurectomy/decortication surgery, which spares both lungs. This is the preferred option of many mesothelioma specialists due to better quality of life after surgery.

Doctors remove the pleura, which is the narrow tissue lining between the lung cavity and chest wall. The pleura is where pleural mesothelioma forms and where most tumors will exist. This lining offers a buffer for the lungs to expand and contract during breathing, but it is not vital to living comfortably. Therefore, it can be removed to strip away most of the mesothelioma tumors in the lung cavity.

Doctors may also remove the diaphragm and the lining of the heart (pericardium). Pleural mesothelioma tumors often spread to these areas and removal can ensure no distant tumors are left behind to cause a recurrence (re-growth) of the cancer.

The other option is extrapleural pneumonectomy surgery, a pneumonectomy is the removal of the entire affected lung. Survival rates are comparable but removing a lung often leaves patients with shortness of breath after surgery.

During surgery, doctors wash the thoracic cavity in heated povidone-iodine. The purpose is to destroy tiny leftover tumors not eliminated during resection of the pleura, pericardium and diaphragm.

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Hospital Ranking

    • Not listed in the U.S. News & World Report 2021-2022 Hospitals Honor Roll
    • Listed as high performing for cancer treatment in general

Clinical Trial Focus on Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy for mesothelioma is receiving a lot of attention from doctors, researchers and patients. A lot of funding dollars are being directed towards figuring out the best uses of immunotherapeutics against pleural and peritoneal tumors.

University of Maryland Medical System’s cancer center is the host site for a handful of clinical trials featuring mesothelioma immunotherapy. For example, one study uses nivolumab (the generic name for Opdivo) and ipilimumab (Yervoy) prior to aggressive surgery. There are up to 30 spots in this study, which is actively recruiting at three locations, one being the Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Another trial for immunotherapy uses the opposite order. Opdivo and the generic immunotherapy drug ramucirumab are combined for patients who’ve already received treatment, meaning their disease relapsed and is now re-growing after surgery, chemotherapy or other therapies. This trial, also recruiting, has up to 35 spots chosen from four hospitals.

Best Way to Connect With University of Maryland Cancer Center

The University of Maryland Cancer Center has provided life-saving treatment for many people suffering from mesothelioma and continues to research new ways to fight the disease. Reasons patients have chosen this cancer hospital for mesothelioma treatment include:

  • Access to new clinical trials and studies
  • Decades of experience among the staff
  • Specialized support and counseling for patients and families

The patient care team at Mesothelioma Guide has an extensive database of the top cancer centers in the United States – many of which treat mesothelioma with compassion, thoroughness and attention to detail. Our lead patient advocate and registered nurse, Karen Ritter, is a valuable resource for any patient seeking treatment.

Email Karen at karen@mesotheliomaguide.com or request her cancer center recommendations through our website. You won’t regret relying on Mesothelioma Guide’s medical staff for help in finding the best treatment possible for your diagnosis.

Sources & Author

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About the Writer, Karen Ritter, RN BSN

Karen Ritter, a registered nurse, is the lead patient advocate for Mesothelioma Guide. She has a deep passion for patient care, which includes helping patients and their families search for treatment options at the top mesothelioma cancer centers. She finds the balance between encouraging patients to receive the best treatment possible while enjoying their time with loved ones and friends. Karen is a valuable asset for patients due to her knowledge of mesothelioma, compassion for the victims of this disease and dedication to guiding patients through their treatment journey.