Baylor Lung Institute

Quick Summary

The Lung Institute at Baylor College is a highly respected cancer center located in Houston, TX. The Mesothelioma Program is led by Dr. Sugarbaker, one of the world’s leading experts on pleural mesothelioma, and the inventor of the trimodal treatment approach.

The Mesothelioma Treatment Center is equipped with state-of-the-art technology and has three primary focuses:

  • Patient treatment
  • Patient support
  • Mesothelioma research

Baylor Lung Institute Location & Overview

  • Located at 6620 Main Street in Houston, Texas ; 713-798-6376
  • Mesothelioma Treatment Center founded & led by world-class mesothelioma expert, Dr. David Sugarbaker
  • Employs a multidisciplinary approach to treating mesothelioma
  • Patient Experience

The Lung Institute at Baylor College of Medicine is committed to providing patient care that’s unique to each individual’s needs. The Mesothelioma Treatment Center aims to extend each patient’s length of life while also respecting their need for quality of life. The collaborative team behind every patient works together to develop a clear and comprehensive treatment plan that’s best for the patient.

Baylor is one of the leading facilities for genomic research into mesothelioma, and this process enables patients to receive the absolute latest and sometimes ground-breaking therapies. Patients who are evaluated by the Mesothelioma Treatment Center are likely to have tumor tissue and blood collected for genomic analysis. Baylor’s scientists will then examine the samples and look for specific genes and immune markers, which will help define the best treatment plan.

As an NCI designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Lung Institute grants patients access to the latest innovations and mesothelioma procedures. In addition, many patients can participate in clinical trials, helping the world find better ways to combat mesothelioma for the future.

Because 95% of mesothelioma patients travel to Baylor from outside of the Houston area, the hospital has a designated Patient Navigator who will help patients with travel and accommodation arrangements. In addition, Dr. Sugarbaker has negotiated discounted long-term rates at several nearby hospitals. Extended Stay America, Holiday Inn, 1303 LaConcha Lane, and Joe’s House all participate in these discounts.

Mesothelioma Program at Baylor Lung Institute

The Mesothelioma Treatment Center at Baylor College of Medicine was founded by Dr. David Sugarbaker, one of the world’s leading authorities in pleural mesothelioma. He continues to oversee the program to this day and is heavily involved in its day-to-day operations.

Baylor’s Mesothelioma Treatment Center primarily treats pleural mesothelioma but can evaluate and refer patients with other forms of mesothelioma to equally equipped hospitals.

The Baylor Lung Institute views mesothelioma treatment in three simple parts: research, treatment, and support.

The first goal for every patient who visits the Mesothelioma Treatment Center is to identify and pursue the best possible treatment plan for their condition, using the latest medical advancements.

“Our primary treatment strategy relies on technically precise and aggressive surgery to remove all of the tumor cells visible to the naked eye, saving the lung whenever possible. The choice of procedure depends on the patient’s tumor, overall medical condition, and the patient’s wishes. Non-operative therapies, including traditional chemotherapies as well as novel immunotherapies and biologic treatments, may also be used alone or in combination with surgery.” —Dr. David Sugarbaker.

The next goal is to research and discover new therapies, involving the patient in clinical trials that may provide cutting-edge mesothelioma solutions. This research provides patients with first access to potential new treatments, while furthering the nation’s ability to understand and fight mesothelioma until there is a cure.

“The ability of any program to provide ever-improving care depends on its vigorous research program. Our basic research efforts seek to understand the mechanisms of mesothelioma and to slow and kill mesothelioma tumors using immunotherapy and other targeted approaches. The MTC has an active clinical trials program – three trials have opened since our founding and more will open in the months ahead.” —Dr. David Sugarbaker.

The final goal is to support each patient through the trauma of battling mesothelioma. Baylor has a number of dedicated support staff, including social workers, chaplains, and a dietician. In addition, The Mesothelioma Treatment Center strives to connect new mesothelioma patients with mesothelioma survivors. This networking allows patients to surround themselves with a community of people who have experienced the same struggles, can share their experiences, and can help patients know what to expect.

“Equally important is our strong support program for patients and their families. Patient navigators provide assistance with airport transportation, affordable housing and the day-to-day visits to the Texas Medical Center. We offer a diverse chaplaincy team, weekly caregiver luncheons and support groups and psychological support and postdischarge assistance from our social work team. Their care and support extends well beyond hospital discharge.” —Dr. Sugarbaker.

Mesothelioma Doctors at Baylor Lung Institute

The Mesothelioma Program at Baylor Lung Institute has the following dedicated specialists available to treat you or your family member:

  • Dr. David Sugarbaker
  • Dr. Bryan Burt
  • Dr. Shawn Growth
  • Dr. Jose Casar
  • Dr. Robert Southard
  • Dr. Jun Zhang
  • Dr. Anita Sabichi
  • Dr. Benjamin Musher

Mesothelioma Treatment Options at Baylor Lung Institute

Mesothelioma Treatment Update

Baylor’s Lung Institute has several treatment options available for pleural mesothelioma patients. The majority of patients who visit the center have pleural mesothelioma and are treated using Dr. Sugarbaker’s trimodal approach: cytoreduction surgery, heated chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.


Cytoreduction Surgery: Cytoreduction surgery is the surgical removal of a tumor. It is the most traditional means of treating cancer and is often the first step in a larger treatment plan for mesothelioma patients. Extrapleural pneumonectomy and pleurectomy/decortication are two subtypes of cytoreduction surgery.

Extrapleural Pneumonectomy (EPP): With EPP, surgical oncologists will remove the lung, as well as the surrounding linings of the heart and abdomen. Part of the diaphragm and nearby lymph nodes are also commonly removed.

Pleurectomy/Decortication (P/D):  An alternative to EPP, P/D leaves the lung intact while removing any visible tumors and the lung’s lining (the pleura). P/D is typically used to relieve symptoms and extend quality of life but can also be a curative surgery for the right candidate.

Heated Chemotherapy/HIPEC: Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC), or heated chemotherapy, is a procedure in which chemotherapy drugs are applied directly to the peritoneal tissues and organs. HIPEC is typically used in conjunction with cytoreduction surgery, as it targets microscopic cancer cells that are often left behind after the surgery.

Radiation Therapy: Radiation oncologists at Baylor can apply Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) directly to a tumor. This form of therapy is controlled by a computer, which results in precise and controlled doses.

Post-Operation Recovery: Patient recovery after operative procedures is an important part of the mesothelioma treatment process. The Mesothelioma Treatment Center strongly encourages patients to get up and start walking in the hours following their surgery, as physical movement is proven to help speed up the healing process.

Mesothelioma Clinical Trials, Studies & Research

The Mesothelioma Treatment Center at Baylor is one of the most recognized in the world in large part because of the research and scientific studies that have come out of it. There are several clinical trials that mesothelioma patients can currently participate in, including treatment trials, immunotherapy trials, and surgical experience trials.

Mesothelioma Insurance Information

The Lung Institute at the Baylor College of Medicine accepts the majority of health insurance policies. However, treatment coverage can vary, and it’s recommended that all patients contact their insurance company directly.

Below is a list of the insurance companies that have one or more accepted plans at Baylor’s Lung Institute:

  • Aetna
  • Beech Street Network
  • Best Doctors
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield – Marketplace
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield ParPlan
  • Cigna and GWh Cigna
  • Cigna LifeSource
  • Community Health Choice
  • Community Health Choice – Marketplace
  • Coventry Health Care
  • Evolutions Healthcare System
  • EyeMed Vision Care (Access Networks)
  • First Health
  • Galaxy Health Network
  • HealthSmart
  • Independent Medical Systems
  • InterLink
  • LifeTrac
  • Medicaid (Texas)
  • Medicare
  • Molina
  • Molina – Marketplace
  • OptumHealth
  • Private Healthcare Systems
  • Provider Select
  • Superior Health Plan
  • Texas Children’s Health Plan (TCHP)
  • United Behavioral Health (UBH)
  • United Healthcare
  • United Healthcare Community Plan
  • United Healthcare Community Plan Dual Complete
  • United Healthcare Connected
  • USA Managed Care Organization

Baylor Lung Institute’s Mission Statement & Values

Baylor’s Lung Institute believes in the value of working together, allowing numerous medical professionals to share their expertise and develop a patient’s best treatment plan.

According to Dr. David Sugarbaker, all patients undergo an individualized evaluation and are a put on a tailored treatment plan based on that evaluation. Patients work with a care team that includes “highly experienced specialized surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, anesthesiologist, pathologists, intensivists, nurses, physician assistants, pharmacists, social workers, chaplains, nutritionists, physical therapists and respiratory therapists”.

Dr. Sugarbaker and his team work hard to help each patient and plan to eventually cure pleural mesothelioma.

“Mesothelioma does not appear to be significantly declining in the United States. My personal goal, and that of the entire team, is on finding a cure. We will continue our battle with this disease and commit to doing our very best for each patient and family we treat.” —Dr. David Sugarbaker.

If you suspect you have mesothelioma or you’ve been diagnosed with this disease, book an appointment with the Baylor Lung Institute today by calling 713-798-6376. Or contact one of our Patient Advocates to review your case and put you in contact with the country’s top surgeons.

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Author

Sources
  1. Baylor College of Medicine. “Lung Institute.” Retrieved from https://www.bcm.edu/healthcare/care-centers/lung-institute. Accessed on November 18th, 2017.
  2. Baylor College of Medicine. “For Patients.” Retrieved from https://www.bcm.edu/healthcare/for-patients. Accessed on November 18th, 2017.
  3. Baylor College of Medicine. “Insurance.” Retrieved from https://www.bcm.edu/healthcare/for-patients/insurance. Accessed on November 18th, 2017.
  4. Mesothelioma Treatment Center. “Letter from the Director.” Retrieved from http://mesotreatmentcenter.org/about-the-mtc/letter-from-the-director.html. Accessed on November 19th, 2017.
  5. Mesothelioma Treatment Center. “About the MTC.” Retrieved from http://mesotreatmentcenter.org/about-the-mtc/. Accessed on November 19th, 2017.

Last modified: February 2, 2018