Dr. Jacques Fontaine

Section Head of Mesothelioma Treatment Center at Moffitt Cancer Center

Dr. Jacques Fontaine leads mesothelioma care and treatment at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida. He trained under the late Dr. David Sugarbaker and now helps patients from across the United States.

Dr. Jacques Fontaine

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Pleural Mesothelioma

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Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute

12902 USF Magnolia Drive, Tampa, Florida 33612


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More Information About Mesothelioma Specialist Dr. Jacques Fontaine

He joined the thoracic oncology team at H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center in 2011 as a thoracic surgeon. Moffitt is the third-largest cancer center in the United States.

He is the Section Head of the cancer institute’s Mesothelioma Research and Treatment Center, which he created when joining in 2011.

“It was at first very exciting and then a little frustrating because things go slower than you want,” he said. “Over time we got it going, and now it’s very fulfilling.”

Dr. Fontaine started his medical career at the University of Montreal but joined the Department of Thoracic Surgery at Brown University’s medical school in Providence, Rhode Island. He helped develop a thoracic surgery program at one of the college’s teaching hospitals.

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Medical Degrees and Residencies

    • Medical Degree from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, 1997
    • Residency in General Surgery at Boston University, 2002
    • Residency in Cardiothoracic Surgery at University of Massachusetts, 2006
    • Fellowship in Thoracic Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts
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Certifications and Memberships

    • Certified in thoracic surgery by the American Board of Thoracic Surgery
    • Certified in thoracic surgery by the American Board of Surgery

Get Connected to Dr. Jacques Fontaine

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Dr. Fontaine performs surgery for malignant pleural mesothelioma. He’s certified in thoracic surgery by two organizations and trained with Dr. David Sugarbaker at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Why Choose Dr. Fontaine?

  • Leader of Moffitt’s mesothelioma division
  • Does both P/D and EPP surgeries
  • Fluent in four languages and teaches at a university

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Other Professional Accolades

He learned about mesothelioma treatment under Dr. David Sugarbaker through a thoracic surgery fellowship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. This experience led to a clinical interest in malignant mesothelioma.

He’s interested in robotics surgery and minimally invasive surgery. However, robotics surgery doesn’t have an application for mesothelioma treatment.

He’s fluent in English, French, Spanish and Arabic. Being multilingual allows him to connect with patients of many backgrounds. His other professional titles include:

  • Senior member of the Department of Thoracic Oncology
  • Senior member of the Department of Gastrointestinal Oncology
  • Director for Moffitt Thoracic Robotics Surgery Fellowship Program
  • Professor at the University of South Florida

Preference for Lung-Sparing Surgery

Dr. Fontaine sees approximately 70 patients a year, and 15 or so are resectable cases. He can perform both pleurectomy/decortication surgery and extrapleural pneumonectomy surgery. The former leaves both lungs in the chest cavity, while a pneumonectomy involves lung resection.

Dr. Fontaine prefers pleurectomy/decortication due to a number of often-mentioned reasons:

  • Better quality of life
  • Fewer complications
  • Less recovery time
  • Better to handle treatment after surgery

“It’s easier to bounce back,” Dr. Fontaine said. “So when the next doctor comes in and recommends chemotherapy, you are more likely to tolerate treatment if you recuperate easier.”

Extended pleurectomy/decortication removes the pleural lining, diaphragm and pericardium. This is Dr. Fontaine’s approach to surgery for mesothelioma.

However, extrapleural pneumonectomy is still a viable option. Dr. Fontaine says he wants to remove all tumors seen by the naked eye. So if tumors invade lung tissue, this surgery is likely the best option.

How to See Dr. Fontaine for Treatment

His patient review rating on Moffitt Cancer Center’s website is 4.9 out of 5 stars. One of his reviews, from March 2021, is a glowing summary of why he’s a celebrated thoracic surgeon and specialist.

“Dr Fontaine explained everything I needed to know and his suggestion of treatment was spot on,” the review says. “He is a wonderful doctor.”

We can put you in touch with Dr. Fontaine and his team at Moffitt Cancer Center. He leads the Mesothelioma Research and Treatment Center at the cancer institute. If you want to meet with him about your diagnosis and options, get in touch with our registered nurse and patient advocate, Karen Ritter, RN, who can help you schedule an appointment. Email her at karen@mesotheliomaguide.com.

Another option is filling out our free Doctor Match program form. This will provide you a list of specialists to choose from for your surgery or treatment plan.

Sources & Author

  1. Jacques Fontaine, MD. Moffitt Cancer Center. Retrieved from: https://moffitt.org/providers/jacques-fontaine/. Accessed: 10/22/2021.
  2. Dr. Jacques Fontaine, Thoracic Surgeon in Tampa, FL. Florida Chest Surgery. Retrieved from: https://www.floridachestsurgery.com/about/. Accessed: 10/22/2021.
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About the Writer, Karen Ritter, RN BSN

Karen Ritter, a registered nurse, is the lead patient advocate for Mesothelioma Guide. She has a deep passion for patient care, which includes helping patients and their families search for treatment options at the top mesothelioma cancer centers. She finds the balance between encouraging patients to receive the best treatment possible while enjoying their time with loved ones and friends. Karen is a valuable asset for patients due to her knowledge of mesothelioma, compassion for the victims of this disease and dedication to guiding patients through their treatment journey.