Mesothelioma Program

Since 1997, UCLA's Comprehensive Mesothelioma Program has been using lung-sparing surgery and innovative postoperative therapies that stress quality of life as well as survival. Patients benefit from UCLA's expertise in performing a meticulous procedure (pleurectomy and decortication) that removes all visible tumor from the chest while sparing normal structures, such as the lung, pericardium and diaphragm.

The surgery is followed by precise radiation therapy to target remaining cancer cells and avoid injury to the preserved lung. Patients also benefit from a number of existing and investigational therapies to target the remaining microscopic disease and slow its re-growth.

Recognizing that mesothelioma cannot be entirely eliminated from the body, our physicians treat it as they would any chronic condition. That means we use frequent (often daily) well-tolerated therapies to slow its growth rather than using concentrated treatments whose toxicities may be excessive. UCLA has pioneered the use of therapies such as immunotherapy and cryoablation, which have led to significant advances in the care of patients with this condition. Dr. Robert Cameron founded the program.

Treatment of sarcomatoid mesothelioma

Patients with sarcomatoid mesothelioma benefit from UCLA's expertise in this rare disease. We have found that chemotherapy agents typically used to treat sarcomas in other areas of the body are more effective in these patients than are the typical mesothelioma chemotherapy agents. This chemotherapy, followed by surgery and radiation, has provided significant advantages for patients in this small group. All patients are treated by a multidisciplinary team. A dedicated nurse practitioner helps to coordinate care and is available to answer questions from patients and referring physicians.

Research

UCLA Comprehensive Mesothelioma Program physicians collaborate with basic scientists at UCLA, West Los Angeles VA Medical Center, and the Pacific Meso Center at the Pacific Heart, Lung, & Blood Institute.

Our Services

Patients with all stages of mesothelioma are provided with expert surgical, radiation and medical oncology services.

  • Surgical techniques include lung-sparing tumor surgery (pleurectomy and decortication or P/D), lasers, bronchial (airway) and esophageal stents and video-and computer-assisted robotic surgery
  • Radiation therapy techniques include stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT), intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) and radiosurgery using the Novalis Tx image-guided system
  • Chemotherapy, immunotherapy and targeted biologic agents are chosen based on extensive experience treating mesothelioma

Contact Information

Thoracic Surgery
(310) 267-4612 (Cameron)
(310) 794-7333 (J. Lee & Yanagawa)

Medical Oncology
(310) 829-5471 (Olevsky)

Radiation Oncology
(310) 825-9775 (P. Lee) 

Physicians & Specialists

Director
Robert Cameron, MD

Specialty
Cardiothoracic Surgery; Surgical Oncology

Faculty
Denise Aberle, MD Diagnostic Radiology
Fereidoun Abtin, MD Diagnostic Radiology
Adam Brown, MD Anesthesiology
Kathleen Brown, MD Diagnostic Radiology
Johannes Czernin, MD Nuclear Medicine
Michael Fishbein, MD Anatomic Pathology & Clinical Pathology
Nir Hoftman, MD Anesthesiology
Jay Lee, MD Cardiothoracic Surgery
Percy Lee, MD Radiation Oncology
James Moore, MD Anesthesiology
Olevsky, Olga MD Hematology & Oncology
Parisa Partownavid, MD Anesthesiology
Siamak Rahman, MD Anesthesiology
Christiaan Schiepers, MD, PhD Nuclear Medicine
Robert Suh, MD Diagnostic Radiology
William Wallace, MD Anatomic Pathology & Clinical Pathology
Jane Yanagawa, MD Cardiothoracic Surgery

Nurse Practitioners
Kaily M. Byfield, NP
Roma Ciella Casas Dasalla, NP
Melissa S. DeJesus, NP
Louise Fraser, NP
Anjana S. Gokhale, NP
Lien Hua-Feng, NP

Research Scientists
Dongmei Hou, PhD
Irina Ianculescu, PhD
Raymond Wong, PhD