Dr. Sugarbaker has helped thousands of patients through the development of the extrapleural pneumonectomy and is the leading surgeon treating patients with pleural mesothelioma.

About Dr. Sugarbaker

Dr. David Sugarbaker currently serves as Chief of General Thoracic Surgery and director of the Mesothelioma Treatment Center (MTC) at Baylor College of Medicine. He is considered the leading thoracic surgeon performing extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) surgery.

  • Medical Degree and Residency

    MD Cornell University Medical College, NY 1979. Dr. Sugarbaker completed residency at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital (1979-1985) and Toronto General Hospital (1986-1988).

  • Professorship

    Dr. Sugarbaker is a professor of surgery at Baylor College of Medicine. Prior to moving to Baylor, he was a professor of surgical oncology at Harvard Medical School for over 14 years.

With 35 years of experience under his belt, Dr. Sugarbaker is well-versed in both surgery and research involving patients with pleural mesothelioma.

Dr. Sugarbaker’s Accomplishments

  • Pioneered the extrapleural pneumonectomy with chemotherapy and radiation
  • Has performed thousands of successful surgeries over a 30+ year career
  • Created and runs the Mesothelioma Treatment Center at Baylor

Get Connected to Dr. David Sugarbaker

Photograph of Dr Sugarbaker
Many consider Dr. Sugarbaker to be the leading pleural mesothelioma surgeon in America. Our patient advocates can help you set up an appointment with Dr. Sugarbaker.

Why Choose Dr. David Sugarbaker?
  • He pioneered the life-saving extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) surgery.
  • Patients under his care live twice as long as the average mesothelioma patient.
  • He has helped many mesothelioma patients reach remission.




Meet Dr. David Sugarbaker

“When hope is in the equation, anything is possible” – Dr. David Sugarbaker

Dr. Sugarbaker's Treatment Plan

The extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) was pioneered by Dr. David Sugarbaker and has been extremely successful in leading pleural mesothelioma patients into remission. Dr. Sugarbaker believes in treating mesothelioma aggressively. His philosophy of surgery is that it’s better to be safe and remove the lung than to leave the lung but accidentally leave cancer cells behind.

Not every patient needs to have a lung removed, but Dr. Sugarbaker believes it is often necessary. He also collaborates with other doctors to create a multimodal treatment plan. When paired with chemotherapy and/or radiation, surgery can dramatically increase the life expectancy of a mesothelioma patient.

Dr. Sugarbaker’s Treatment Options

  • Extrapleural Pneumonectomy (EPP)
    Removes the diseased lung as well as the lining covering the lung, heart, and diaphragm. This removes as much cancerous material as possible.
  • Pleurectomy with Decortication (P/D)
    Removes the lining of the lung, and sometimes other diseased tissue. This option works for patients whose disease has not spread too far.
  • Intrapleural Chemotherapy
    Following surgery, heated chemotherapy drugs (107 degrees) are applied directly to the cancerous area to kill any remaining cells.
  • Systemic Chemotherapy
    Traditional chemotherapy is given orally or intravenously. Ongoing chemotherapy after surgery can help keep cancer from returning.
  • Radiation Therapy
    Powerful beams are used to keep cancer cells from regrouping and decreases the risk of future recurrence. It may be given before or after surgery.
  • Clinical Trials
    Expands treatment options to all new and innovative treatments. Baylor is home to some of the most important new research.

Dr. Sugarbaker is also aggressive about recovery. Patients start walking soon after surgery to help kickstart the recovery process.

Patient Experience

Many mesothelioma patients have been treated by Dr. Sugarbaker and experienced the incredible results of his procedures. Many survivors of mesothelioma who received this specialized care proudly share what it meant to them and how it saved their lives.

Learn how survivors have beat the odds with by seeing specialists like Dr. Sugarbaker in our free Mesothelioma Survivors Guide.