Mesothelioma is a very rare disease. It is estimated that it affects less than 1% of all patients with a cancer diagnosis. For many years there were no options for patients and families facing mesothelioma. When dedicated physicians and scientists started to research this rare disease, progress started to happen.
This month we will feature two internationally known and respected leaders in the field of mesothelioma treatment and research. Together they are working in one mesothelioma center that is moving forward to work for a cure.
The University of Maryland School of Medicine Mesothelioma and Thoracic Oncology Treatment and Research Center is a new center under the Directorship of Joseph Friedberg M.D. Dr. Friedberg is an international expert in malignant pleural mesothelioma. Before coming to the University of Maryland he was at the University of Pennsylvania. This biographic information came from the web site of the University of Maryland, www.umaryland.edu
Dr. Friedberg joins another international expert in mesothelioma at the University of Maryland, H. Richard Alexander, MD., who is Professor of Surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Dr. Alexander is an expert in peritoneal mesothelioma and he is the Associate Chairman for Clinical Research.
Dr. Friedberg graduated with his bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania College of Engineering and Applied Science. He received his M.D. from Harvard Medical School. He has completed residencies at Massachusetts General Hospital and the Mass Eye and Ear Infirmary. He also completed a fellowship in cardiothoracic surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Dr. Friedberg returned to the University of Pennsylvania Presbyterian Medical Center. He has developed many research interests with mesothelioma, including photodynamic therapy. In addition he has been at the forefront of a new type of therapy called “photobrachytherapy” that combines immunotherapy, radioisotopes, and other photosensitizers . Dr. Friedberg was the Chief of Thoracic Surgery, co-director of the Penn Mesothelioma and Pleural Disease Program and an associate professor of thoracic surgery at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine. Dr. Friedberg’s publications are many as are his awards noting his many contributions to researching to a cure.
Dr. Alexander received his MD degree from Georgetown University. From Georgetown he entered into the Navy where he completed his residency in general surgery at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda Maryland. Following that he did a fellowship in surgical oncology at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. He has spent 16 years at National Institute of Health where he was the deputy director of the NCI’s Center for Cancer Research. During this time he developed an interest in new and effective ways to treat cancers that few were researching. Dr. Alexander is an expert in the treatment of peritoneal mesothelioma. He has published extensively, and has lectured both nationally and internationally.
By joining forces, these two distinguished physicians and their respected teams have built a world-class mesothelioma center at the University of Maryland for both pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma patients.
Please let us know if you have any questions.