When Dr. Raphael Bueno became Chief of the Thoracic Surgery Division at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in 2014, he designated every Friday as a day to treat mesothelioma patients exclusively. That practice continues to this day, and it means that, once a week at Brigham and Women’s, every surgeon, radiologist, oncologist, and pathologist sits down together and focuses only on mesothelioma-related care and practices. Couple this practice with Brigham and Women’s grand opening of a state-of-the-art Lung Center, and mesothelioma patients can find hope in knowing that a significant amount of specialized attention is being directed toward combating their rare and deadly cancer.
Long History of Excellence
Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts is an important international leader in medical practices and advances. The hospital is known both nationally and globally for its renowned physicians and its impressive research institute.
A glimpse back into the history of the hospital reveals a track record of excellence. In 1954, the first successful human organ transplant was achieved at Brigham and Women’s (then called Peter Bent Brigham). This achievement came at a time when it seemed that a successful organ transplant might be impossible. Many years after this groundbreaking feat, Brigham and Women’s continues to push medical advances farther than what may have – at first – seemed possible.
Lung Center Becomes Latest Addition to Already Stellar Facility
The Hospital is no doubt maintaining this forward-thinking reputation with its Lung Center. At the Lung Center, patients receive care that is both innovative and personalized. Such a facility is certainly needed; the National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimate that between 1940 and 1978 as many as 11 million people were exposed to asbestos. Each year, approximately 3,200 new mesothelioma cases are diagnosed in the U.S.
The Lung Center’s opening is promising for those affected by asbestos-related lung diseases. Mesothelioma victims and their families deserve the best physicians, research teams, and facilities necessary in order to make real progress with treatment.
At Brigham and Women’s Lung Center, physicians and researchers are working daily to combat mesothelioma and asbestos-related lung diseases. Currently, a promising clinical trial is underway that investigates biomarker responses within tumor tissue. Such a trial is unique and evident of Brigham and Women’s continued role in pioneering the global research necessary to fight mesothelioma.
Dr. Bueno – now the co-director of the new Lung Center – issued a recent statement, saying:
The value of Brigham and Women’s is that there are many remarkable people here who have profound clinical roles, and yet also conduct research at a very high level, using the most innovative tools available to probe cancers of every type.
It is statements like these that can lend mesothelioma patients some degree of confidence.
Asbestos-Related Diseases and Mesothelioma to be Treated at New Lung Center
There is no safe level of asbestos exposure. It is well-documented that certain professions increase one’s risk of developing the disease. Those who have served in the U.S. Navy, or in a manufacturing or industrial trade, are among those at a greater risk. Family members can also be affected, simply by living in the same household with someone who has been exposed. Asbestos fibers are so fine they can easily be carried home on clothing and in hair, placing others at risk of inhaling the deadly dust.
It is about time that the medical community acknowledges the far-reaching effects of asbestos-related diseases and finds ways to successfully treat them. Those who have been affected by mesothelioma and other asbestos-related lung diseases must have the information and resources that they need in order to receive the best care possible. New clinical trials at one of the world’s leading research institutes is necessary in order to have breakthrough medical discoveries in disease treatment and patient care.
We welcome Brigham and Women’s recent Lung Center expansion with great appreciation and hope, as this new facility has the potential to bring about both meaningful and radical advances in mesothelioma medical treatment.