Some of the biggest cancer centers for peritoneal mesothelioma are located along the East Coast.
Wake Forest Baptist Health and Mount Sinai Cancer Center are a few. Others are University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center.
Not many options exist along the West Coast, which sets the value high for Moores Cancer Center at UC San Diego Health.
Dr. Joel Baumgartner is the primary surgical oncologist for peritoneal mesothelioma cases. He’s skilled with HIPEC and cytoreductive surgery. HIPEC is heated intraperitoneal chemotherapy, and it is associated with strong survival rates.
There’s an impressive case volume for peritoneal mesothelioma. Around 10‑15 cases come to Moores Cancer Center each year. The therapy options are cytoreductive surgery, HIPEC, systemic chemotherapy, immunotherapy and more.
The team even considers aggressive surgery and HIPEC for sarcomatoid histology.
“I wouldn’t say we’d exclude someone outright based on their histology,” Dr. Baumgartner said. “We’d certainly be a lot more reluctant to do it.
“We’d certainly be a lot more cautious about embarking on the surgery.”
The peritoneal malignancies program sees national patients across the country. However, there’s a benefit for a specific geographical segment.
Moores Cancer Center is located in La Jolla, California. This is useful for patients in California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and more states.
It’s also ranked as one of the top peritoneal malignancies centers in the country. It’s arguably the best along the West Coast.
“I came in to help build the (peritoneal malignancies) program,” Dr. Baumgartner said, noting he helped increase the HIPEC treatment aspect in the last decade.
Moores Cancer Center benefits from the research team at University of California San Diego. There are multiple clinical trials out of the hospital. One of them was featured in a Mesothelioma Guide podcast.
In all, the Moores Cancer Center provides a multidisciplinary approach to treating cancer. With a HIPEC and peritoneal malignancies program, patients with peritoneal mesothelioma have a valuable option in an area with few of them.