Washington Cancer Institute

Quick Summary

Washington Cancer Institute is a not-for-profit, state-of-the-art academic medical center located in the heart of Washington, DC. It is the city's largest provider of cancer care, and it operates on a patient-focused philosophy. Known for its excellent reputation in treating some of the region’s most advanced medical cases, the Washington Cancer Institute is a force for medical innovation, first-rate care, and high-level research and teaching.

Washington Cancer Institute Quick Facts

  • Part of MedStar Washington Hospital Center
  • The institute has 912 beds
  • Recognized for various awards and ranking lists, including U.S. News & World Re port’s “Best Hospitals” 2017-2018
  • Home to a highly qualified multidisciplinary staff of almost 1,400 medical professionals
  • Embraces a “patient-first” ethos


Washington Cancer Institute is located at:

110 Irving St NW C2149

Washington, DC 20010


Mesothelioma Experts at Washington Cancer Institute

When it comes to effectively treating mesothelioma, seeing a specialist is of the highest importance. Mesothelioma experts like those at Washington Cancer Institute can draw on years of experience working closely with patients and researching the disease, to provide highly accurate diagnosis, optimal treatment recommendations, and excellence in overseeing and administering those treatments. Mesothelioma experts can give a much more precise prognosis and offer appropriate steps to improve it.

At Washington Cancer Institute, you’ll receive the clarity, transparency, care, and innovative treatment that you deserve.

Dr. Paul Sugarbaker

Dr. Paul Sugarbaker leads the mesothelioma treatment program Washington Cancer Institute. He has specialized in treating and studying peritoneal cancers for over 30 years. Dr. Sugarbaker leads a highly qualified team of experts and is known in the medical community worldwide for his development of a unique cytoreductive surgery and heated intraoperative chemotherapy (HIPEC) procedure for peritoneal mesothelioma treatment.

Cytoreduction with HIPEC  treatment is being studied by esteemed oncologists from around the world due to its incredible potential. Because of Dr. Paul Sugarbaker’s innovate and effective treatment approach, the Washington Cancer Institute draws mesothelioma patients from across the country.

Dr. Puja G. Khaitan

Dr. Puja G. Khaitan is the Director of Esophageal Surgery at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, as well as the Associate Professor at Georgetown University School of Medicine. She also specializes in mesothelioma as part of a broader focus on cardiac chest surgeries for lung, esophageal, mediastinal, and chest wall cancers.

With extensive experience performing less-invasive thoracic surgeries, Dr. Khaitan can deliver high-quality surgical procedures for pleural mesothelioma patients. Those who opt for (and qualify for) pleural mesothelioma surgery can undergo an extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) or a pleurectomy with decortication (P/D).

The mesothelioma experts at Washington Cancer Institute will provide the highest quality medical expertise available, regardless of their role in your care team. All the specialists are leaders in their fields with a vast understanding of the disease and an investment in the future of how it is treated.

Mesothelioma Treatment at Washington Cancer Institute

Receiving treatment for mesothelioma at Washington Cancer Institute allows you access to the most advanced treatments, cutting-edge therapies, and forward-thinking medical minds. The innovation and expertise at Washington Cancer Institute can offer hope for patients where it seemed like there was none.

“Washington Cancer Institute is one of the nation’s most technologically advanced cancer centers and is a national model and regional leader of cancer treatment. Whether you need the latest 3D imaging, PET or CT scan among other tests, our cancer experts are committed to providing you with the latest advances in these technologies to diagnose and treat your cancer.” — Washington Cancer Institute

In addition to utilizing the latest technology, Washington Cancer Institute’s medical professionals are also consistently leading the way to new, improved treatment options through ongoing research and clinical trials.

Treatment options for mesothelioma patients at Washington Cancer Institute include:

Surgical Procedures

For qualified peritoneal mesothelioma patients, cytoreductive surgery is an option at Washington Cancer Institute. This type of surgery includes the removal of as much of the abdominal tumor(s) as is possible. In some cases, when the mesothelioma has spread throughout the abdominal cavity, parts of the stomach, pancreas, spleen, or gallbladder may also be removed.

Surgeons will often combine cytoreduction with hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC), a pairing that improves life expectancy by 5 years or longer in many mesothelioma patients.

Some of the surgical options for mesothelioma patients at Washington Cancer Institute may include:

  • Extrapleural Pneumonectomy
  • Pleurectomy Decortication
  • Peritonectomy
  • Hemicolectomy


How chemotherapy is administered at Washington Cancer Institute depends on the mesothelioma metastasis (how advanced the cancer is and how far it has spread), as well as personal factors pertaining to your health. The mesothelioma experts at the Institute may recommend chemotherapy before surgery (neoadjuvant therapy) or after surgery (adjuvant therapy) if you are eligible. In some cases, chemotherapy is administered during surgery, sometimes as part of Dr. Sugarbaker’s distinctive, pioneering procedure.

Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC)

HIPEC,  when combined with cytoreductive surgery, is the leading treatment for peritoneal mesothelioma treatment. HIPEC is administered directly to the abdomen right after a peritonectomy or cytoreduction is performed. During this procedure, chemotherapy drugs are applied as part of a heated solution, allowing for better absorption of the cancer-killing drugs. Administering drugs directly allows doctors to give them higher doses safely. The purpose of HIPEC is to kill cancer cells that remain after the surgery.

Social Work and Support at Washington Cancer Institute

“The cancer experience is life-changing for patients and their loved ones. Cancer patients need support before, during and after their treatment. Our goal is to provide compassionate and professional care to each one of our patients, to promote the healing process and to support them every step of the way. Our nurse navigator and social worker teams are dedicated to this mission.” — Washington Cancer Institute

Mesothelioma patients at Washington Cancer Institute have access to the support systems they need or want during their care. The experts at the Institute recognize that cancer is not just a medical experience and that patients can benefit from emotional, mental, and general health support—as can their families. Social worker services are absolutely free so that patients can receive all-encompassing care without worrying about additional financial burdens.

Washington Cancer Institute is home to a highly qualified staff of licensed clinical professionals who offer expertise, sensitivity, and understanding while helping patients and loved ones through the hurdles that come with a mesothelioma diagnosis.

Support staff at Washington Cancer Institute are well-equipped to assist with all aspects of the mesothelioma patient experience. In addition to counseling, there are programs to help patients with nutrition, stress and pain management, relaxation, self-esteem and self-image, and quitting smoking. There is also a state-of-the-art patient resource center that provides educational resources and free literature for cancer patients and their families. There is also a library with computers for patients to use.

To book an appointment at Washington Cancer Institute, call 202-877-DOCS (3627).

View Author and Sources

  1. MedStar Washington Hospital Center. “Peritoneal Cancer." Retrieved from https://www.medstarwashington.org/our-services/washington-cancer-institute/conditions/peritoneal-cancer/?_ga=2.115268751.949819886.1516425307-1771342363.1516425307#q={}. Accessed on January 19, 2018.
  2. MedStar Washington Hospital Center. “Dr. Puja G. Khaitan, MD”. Retrieved from https://www.medstarwashington.org/doctor-profile/1972774735/#q={}. Accessed on January 19, 2018.
  3. MedStar Washington Hospital Center. “Mission, Vision, and Values." Retrieved from https://www.medstarwashington.org/our-hospital/mission-vision-and-values/#q={}. Accessed on January 19, 2018.
  4. MedStar Washington Hospital Center. “Awards and Recognitions." Retrieved from https://www.medstarwashington.org/our-hospital/awards-and-recognitions/#q={}. Accessed on January 19, 2018.
  5. MedStar Washington Hospital Center. “Peritoneal Cancer Treatments.” Retrieved from https://www.medstarwashington.org/our-services/washington-cancer-institute/treatments/peritoneal-cancer-treatments/#q={}. Accessed on January 19, 2018.
  6. MedStar Washington Hospital Center. “Why Choose the Washington Cancer Institute." Retrieved from https://www.medstarwashington.org/our-services/washington-cancer-institute/why-choose-us/#q={}. Accessed on January 19, 2018.
  7. MedStar Washington Hospital Center. “Patient Resources at MedStar Washington Cancer Institute." Retrieved from https://www.medstargeorgetowncancer.org/why-choose-us/patient-resources/medstar-washington-cancer-institute/#q={}. Accessed on January 19, 2018.

Last modified: February 26, 2018