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More About Mesothelioma Specialist Dr. Daniel Labow
Dr. Labow is the Chair of Surgical Services at Nuvance Health. He leads all aspects of surgery, including inpatient and outpatient services, and trauma at Danbury Hospital and New Milford Hospital.
Throughout his career, he has performed more than 750 procedures involving HIPEC, or heated intraperitoneal chemotherapy. It specifically addresses small microscopic tumors in the abdominal cavity. Many peritoneal mesothelioma patients live much longer than expected thanks to HIPEC.
A small percentage of those procedures involve peritoneal mesothelioma, but it’s enough to classify Dr. Labow as a specialist.
Move to Nuvance Health in 2023
Nuvance is excited to have Dr. Labow join their team and bring with him his years of experience developing cutting-edge surgical programs, such as the HIPEC surgery program at Mount Sinai Health for peritoneal mesothelioma. Dr. Labow will also serve as chair of surgery at Danbury Hospital and the New Milford Hospital location. Dr. Labow is a board-certified surgeon with a specialty in surgical oncology, including surgery for gastrointestinal cancers such as pancreatic cancer and peritoneal mesothelioma.
Nuvance Health began as a small non-profit health care system with three hospitals in western Connecticut – Danbury Hospital, New Milford Hospital and Norwalk Hospital. It merged with Health Quest, which had several hospitals in the Hudson Valley region of New York, and now includes seven locations between Connecticut and New York.
- Medical Degree from Brown-Dartmouth Medical Program, 1995
- Residency in general surgery at the University of Chicago Hospitals
- Fellowship in surgery oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
- Master’s Degree in Health Care Quality and Patient Safety from Northwestern University in Chicago
- Board-certified in general surgery
- Membership in the American College of Surgeons, American Hepatopancreaticobiliary Association and Society of Surgical Oncology
Get Connected to Dr. Daniel Labow
Dr. Labow is one of the leading surgeons for peritoneal mesothelioma. He’s a strong communicator and prioritizes patient quality of life. He also leaves open the possibility of surgery or other therapies with neoadjuvant treatment.
Why Choose Dr. Labow?
- Proponent of HIPEC with debulking surgery
- Belief in immunotherapy for specific cases
- Performed nearly 1,000 surgeries in career
Dr. Labow’s Experience at Mount Sinai Health System
Dr. Labow joined Mount Sinai Health System in 2004 and three years later began the peritoneal surface malignancies program. He saw patients at the hospital’s cancer affiliate, the Tisch Cancer Institute. His focus was expanding the knowledge of HIPEC and using the heated chemotherapy to treat gastrointestinal diseases, including peritoneal mesothelioma.
Dr. Labow’s expertise did not go unnoticed. He held various impressive positions during his 19 years at Mount Sinai, including:
- Executive Vice-Chair of the Department of Surgery
- Vice Chair of Quality for the Department of Surgery
- Program Director of Mount Sinai Health System’s surgical oncology fellowship
- Professor in Surgery at the Icahn School of Medicine
Family History in Medical Care
Dr. Labow’s father was a physician, his mother was a biochemist and his brother is a pediatric surgeon. The medical profession runs in the family, an inspiration for his life’s work.
“I really like longitudinal patient care, seeing patients over time. Having a long-term relationship with patients you realize the privilege of having a relationship with patients during this vulnerable time.
“That is always the most rewarding thing.”
Dr. Labow remembers multiple stories of patients sending him Christmas messages or other notes years after surgery and treatment ended. They owe their lives to his expert surgical hand.
“Some of the notes are patients saying I bought them two or three more years to see the birth of their grandchild,” he said.
Deciding on whether to perform mesothelioma surgery is one of the toughest parts of treatment. If the tumors spread too much, any surgery can be too risky without a long-term survival improvement.
Improved Mortality Rates for HIPEC Surgery
The mortality rates for HIPEC surgery were once worrisome. Now they’re below 1%, which is less than pancreatic surgery and esophageal surgery.
“We’ve got the safety of the operation down pretty well,” he said. “Our patient selection is better.”
The process is also much better. He removes the omentum and likely is aggressive in resecting the peritoneal lining. This lining covers the abdominal cavity and is where peritoneal mesothelioma forms.
Other organs he possibly removes are the spleen and part of the small bowel. Ablation can help with eliminating tumors without hurting an organ.
Dr. Labow uses laparoscopy to uncover the scope of the cancer. It provides him a visual idea of the tumors within the abdominal cavity.
“If I send the patient for neoadjuvant therapy, I have a visual in my head for if they undergo therapy for 3-6 months,” he said.
Support for Immunotherapy as an Option
Dr. Labow is one of many surgeons who sees value in immunotherapy for mesothelioma. The treatment isn’t yet approved for peritoneal mesothelioma, although it is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for pleural mesothelioma.
“Having an immunotherapy regimen in our back pocket will probably make more patients eligible for the HIPEC surgery to clean up the residual disease.”
Dr. Labow sees patients from anywhere in the United States. People in the northeast have quick access to Nuvance Health, but those in other regions can get financial help traveling to him. If you want to meet Dr. Labow personally, we can help. Please send us your contact and diagnosis information through our free Doctor Match form.
Sources & Author
- Daniel M Labow, MD. Mount Sinai. Retrieved from: https://www.mountsinai.org/profiles/daniel-m-labow. Accessed: 09/14/2021.
- New chair of surgery joins Nuvance Health, comes from Mount Sinai Health System. Nuvance Health. Retrieved from: https://www.nuvancehealth.org/health-tips-and-news/daniel-labow-md-new-chair-of-surgical-services. Accessed: 05/18/2023.