Vanderbilt University Medical Center

1211 Medical Center Drive, Nashville, Tennessee 37232

Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) is home of the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. This is one of the top centers in the region for treating malignant peritoneal mesothelioma. Vanderbilt Medical has two surgeons for peritoneal mesothelioma.

Vanderbilt University Medical Center
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Peritoneal Mesothelioma

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Vanderbilt University Medical Center

1211 Medical Center Drive

Nashville, Tennessee

Dr. Deepa Magge

Dr. Kamran Idrees


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More About Mesothelioma Treatment at Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Vanderbilt University Medical Center is one of only a few cancer hospitals in the southeast region offering mesothelioma treatment. It sees mostly regional cases of peritoneal mesothelioma and has two doctors with knowledge of HIPEC surgery and therapy.

The program began in 2012, when Dr. Kamran Idrees joined the staff at the hospital in Nashville, Tennessee. He came from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center with a clinical interest in peritoneal malignancies.

“We see probably on average anywhere from 3-6 patients with peritoneal mesothelioma a year,” he said of VUMC, mostly from Tennessee and neighboring states.

“There are three major highways with the epicenter of Nashville.”

VUMC’s affiliate cancer center, the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, is recognized by the National Cancer Institute. It’s one of just a few centers to be NCI-designated for elite treatment and care.

VUMC is the only top-ranked cancer center with a mesothelioma program in Tennessee, Alabama, South Carolina, Arkansas, Kentucky and Mississippi. Dr. Deepa Magge joined in 2020 as another surgeon for peritoneal malignancies.

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Experienced Mesothelioma Specialists

    • Dr. Deepa Magge, surgical oncologist
    • Dr. Kamran Idrees, surgical oncologist
    • Dr. Rajiv Agarwal, medical oncologist
    • Dr. Jonathan Nesbitt, thoracic surgeon
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    • Vanderbilt University
    • Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center
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Treatment Specialties

    • HIPEC for peritoneal mesothelioma
    • Cytoreductive surgery
    • Minimally invasive surgery for palliative care
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VUMC is one of the best cancer centers in the world. It’s on the Honor Roll for top hospitals according to the U.S. News & World Report. This is evidence of a well-run institution with knowledgeable medical personnel.

Why Choose VUMC?

  • Belief in HIPEC surgery for peritoneal mesothelioma
  • Two experienced surgeons on staff
  • Multidisciplinary team to support patients

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Use of Palliative Therapies for Quality of Life

Most people think of hospice care when they hear the term “palliative treatment.” However, this is a dangerous misconception.

Palliative treatment includes therapies to relieve pain. Palliative treatment for mesothelioma addresses chest pain or stomach pain caused by fluid buildup. An example of palliative treatment for mesothelioma is fluid drainage procedures, such as a thoracentesis (fluid around lungs) or paracentesis (fluid in the abdominal cavity).

Palliative care is used to reduce physical and emotional suffering in all stages of disease and is not limited to end-of-life/hospice care. Palliative therapy can be used along with aggressive treatment, such as surgery with HIPEC. In fact, using palliative treatment right after diagnosis and even before surgery can help with survival and quality of life.

“There is a lot of hesitation from patients when they hear palliative care because they think of hospice care,” Dr. Magge said. “… I think one of the biggest things we can do is know when to operate a surgical approach and when to offer a palliative approach.”

Immunotherapy for peritoneal mesothelioma is offered in some cases at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. The staff is testing immune checkpoint inhibitors with traditional chemotherapy.

“There is going to be a trial,” Dr. Magge said. “We just discussed this at one of the conferences. They do want to figure out a good trial for peritoneal mesothelioma for immunotherapy.”

“I would say at least once a week we get consulted on a malignant bowel obstruction and how to manage it,” she said, noting another palliative therapy is fluid drainage to alleviate abdominal pain.

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Hospital Ranking

    • Listed in the US. News & World Report 2023-2024 Hospitals Honor Roll
    • Ranked 40th for cancer treatment
    • Ranked 43rd for gastrointestinal cancer surgery (peritoneal mesothelioma)
    • Ranked 32nd for lung cancer surgery (pleural mesothelioma)
    • Ranked 1st in Tennessee
    • Ranked 1st in Nashville

Multidisciplinary Team for Treatment

Aside from the pair of surgeons, the VUMC team includes medical oncologists, pathologists, support staff and more. The peritoneal malignancies team believes in multidisciplinary therapy, which involves multiple experts to ensure an accurate diagnosis for the patient and respectful suggestions for treatment.

Dr. Fabien Maldonado is a thoracic surgeon with experience performing minimally invasive pleuroscopy for fluid drainage. He joined the staff in 2016.

Dr. Rajiv Agarwal is the primary medical oncologist for gastrointestinal malignancies, which includes peritoneal mesothelioma. Dr. Ricky Shinall is a specialist in palliative therapy approaches for gastrointestinal diseases.

They’re just a few of the doctors you may meet if you choose VUMC for mesothelioma care. You can feel confident with this cancer center if you have mesothelioma. Whether you want to know more about surgery, chemotherapy or immunotherapy, the doctors here can guide you to a decision. Get recommendations from our staff on finding a top mesothelioma cancer center. You can also email our lead patient advocate, Karen Ritter, at karen@mesotheliomaguide.com for direct contact.

Sources & Author

  1. Deepa Magge, MD. Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Retrieved from: https://www.vumc.org/surgical-oncology/deepa-magge-md. Accessed: 09/09/2021.
  2. Kamran Idrees. Vanderbilt Health. Retrieved from: https://search.vanderbilthealth.com/doctors/idrees-kamran. Accessed: 09/13/2021.
  3. Vanderbilt University Medical Center. U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved from: https://health.usnews.com/best-hospitals/area/tn/vanderbilt-university-medical-center-6521060. Accessed: 09/14/2021.
  4. Rajiv Agarwal, BA, MD. Vanderbilt Health. Retrieved from: https://search.vanderbilthealth.com/doctors/agarwal-rajiv. Accessed: 09/14/2021.
  5. Jonathan C. Nesbitt, MD. Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Retrieved from: https://search.vanderbilthealth.com/doctors/nesbitt-jonathan?_ga=2.213325265.437475975.1684412444-1262255499.1684412444. Accessed: 05/18/2023.
Devin Golden

About the Writer, Devin Golden

Devin Golden is a content writer for Mesothelioma Guide. He produces mesothelioma-related content on various mediums, including the Mesothelioma Guide website and social media channels. Devin's objective is to translate complex information regarding mesothelioma into informative, easily absorbable content to help patients and their loved ones.