Before Dr. Cameron made his contribution to the treatment of pleural mesothelioma, there was only one surgical treatment available. Today, his pleurectomy has improved the lives of many patients.

About Dr. Cameron

The leading pleural mesothelioma doctor on the west coast, Dr. Robert Cameron is the innovator behind the lung-saving pleurectomy with decortication (P/D). He heads the mesothelioma programs at UCLA Hospital and the Los Angeles VA.

  • Medical Degree and Residency

    MD UCLA School of Medicine, 1984. Dr. Cameron completed his residency at UCLA Medical Center in Surgery from 1985-1986, 1989-1992.

  • Professorship

    UCLA Assistant Professor of Surgery since 1997

Dr. Cameron is head of the mesothelioma program at the University of California Los Angeles Medical Center. He has contributed to countless clinical studies and reports and has become an advocate for mesothelioma patients.

He developed the P/D as an alternative to the extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP), believing he could produce results comparable to the EPP while sparing the patient’s lung.

Amazingly, Dr. Cameron has done just that. Today the P/D has rates of success that are, in many cases, just as promising as those for an EPP.

Dr. Cameron’s Accomplishments

  • Developed the lung-saving, life-extending pleurectomy with decortication
  • Has treated countless patients over a 20+ year career
  • Lead adviser for the Scientific Advisory Board at the Pacific Meso Center
  • Co-founder and former director of the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation

Get Connected To Dr. Robert Cameron

Photograph of Dr Cameron
Dr. Cameron is a mesothelioma innovator who developed the lung-sparing pleurectomy with decortication. He is renowned for his advanced skill in treating pleural mesothelioma patients with dignity and caution.

Why Choose Dr. Robert Cameron?
  • He pioneered the pleurectomy with decortication
  • Has 20+ years experience treating mesothelioma
  • Leads various clinical trials and mesothelioma research




Dr. Cameron’s Treatment Plan

Before the pleurectomy with decortication was developed and improved by Dr. Cameron, the pleurectomy had virtually no curative potential for mesothelioma patients. Now, Dr. Cameron has developed a treatment plan that is extending the lives of patients through the pleurectomy with decortication.

  • Pleurectomy
    The most straightforward part of the procedure, the pleurectomy is the removal of the outer lining of the lung. Since pleural mesothelioma is a cancer of the lining of the lungs, this procedure removes most of the tumors in the patient’s chest.
  • Decortication
    This process involves removing tumors that are attached to the inner lining and surface of the lung. This is a tedious process because it involves removing the cancer found between the lobes of the lung.

    The process of decortication is what has allowed pleurectomies to compete with the survival times demonstrated in patients who had an extrapleural pneumonectomy, the “gold standard” of treatment. Before the decortication process was developed by Dr. Cameron, the pleurectomy alone didn’t do much to improve survival times.

  • Intraoperative Radiation Therapy
    Many patients who undergo a P/D also take advantage of intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT). IORT is used as a last step of surgery because it provides the opportunity to apply radiation directly to the affected area instead of radiating beams through healthy tissue and muscle.

    The purpose of IORT is to kill any microscopic cancer cells that were not removed during the surgical process alone. Patients who have IORT as part of their procedure often live longer than those who don’t. As such, IORT is becoming more standard in patients who have a P/D.

Treating Patients at the West Los Angeles VA

Dr. Cameron helped found the Elmo Zumwalt Comprehensive Mesothelioma Program stationed at the West Los Angeles VA. The program offers top-notch treatment for veterans with mesothelioma looking for medical care in the VA.

Treatments offered at the West Los Angeles VA include:

  • Radiation therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Surgery
  • Innovative treatments
  • Clinical trials

The mesothelioma program at the West LA VA has become one of the top treatment centers in the country thanks to Dr. Cameron. Veterans can rest assured that patients at this treatment center get the same kind of care as those at the best public and private hospitals across the country.

The benefits of treatment through the LA VA include:

  • Equal treatment to what is offered at top cancer centers
  • Treatment oversight by specialist Dr. Robert Cameron
  • Reduced costs of treatment with VA healthcare

Veterans seeking the best treatment for their disease can find it at the West LA VA. Learn more about Dr. Cameron’s role at the LA VA and getting treatment there in our free Veterans Support Guide.

Patient Experience

Dr. Cameron has treated many mesothelioma patients over his extensive career. The development of the pleurectomy with decortication, along with other treatments including radiation, has produced amazing results in these patients. Here is what just a few of his patients had to say about their experience:

  • Abe Cherry
    “Dr. Cameron has saved my life, and I’m doing all I can do. That’s the lesson; you do what you have to do. It’s one step at a time.”
  • David Vanerhyde
    “I’m ecstatic! Even with struggles, I’m still here. I have a loving wife and children. I’m planning a road trip across the U.S.”
  • Wally Nielsen
    “I’m here alive because of Dr. Cameron. I’m treated beautifully here and that’s the bottom line. Dr. Cameron and his staff really care about you as a person.”

These survivors have been given a new lease on life thanks to the treatment they received. Learn how survivors beat the odds with this treatment in our free Mesothelioma Survivors Guide.

Treating Mesothelioma as a Chronic Disease