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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.
- 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
- Melissa Culligan, RN, Director of Clinical Research for the Division of Thoracic Surgery
- Erica Lynn Glass, thoracic surgery senior nurse practitioner
- 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
- Pleurectomy/decortication surgery
- Proton radiation therapy
- Tumor treating fields
Get Connected to University of Maryland
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
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.
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.
- Not listed in the U.S. News & World Report 2023-2024 Hospitals Honor Roll
- Listed as high performing for cancer treatment in general
- Listed as high performing for gastrointestinal cancer surgery (peritoneal mesothelioma)
- Listed as high performing for lung cancer surgery (pleural mesothelioma)
- Ranked 2nd in Maryland
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 email@example.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
- Mesothelioma Specialists. University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center. Retrieved from: https://www.umms.org/umgccc/cancer-services/cancer-types/mesothelioma/specialists. Accessed: 03/17/2022.
- Mesothelioma Treatment Services. University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center. Retrieved from: https://www.umms.org/umgccc/cancer-services/cancer-types/mesothelioma/treatment. Accessed: 03/24/2022.
- University of Maryland Medical Center. U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved from: https://health.usnews.com/best-hospitals/area/md/university-of-maryland-medical-center-6320330. Accessed: 03/23/2022.
- Neoadjuvant Immune Checkpoint Blockade in Resectable Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma. Clinicaltrials.gov. Retrieved from: https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03918252. Accessed: 03/24/2022.
- Phase II Nivolumab and Ramucirumab for Patients With Previously-Treated Mesothelioma. Clinicaltrials.gov. Retrieved from: https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03502746. Accessed: 03/24/2022.