It is recommended that when you or your family member is diagnosed with mesothelioma that you be evaluated at an academic, multi-disciplinary mesothelioma center. In order to become familiar with what a center can offer, we feature one center a month.
Brigham & Women’s Hospital
Brigham and Women’s Hospital
75 Francis Street
Boston, MA 02115
International Mesothelioma Program- IMP-
www.brighamandwomens.org | www.impmeso.org
The International Mesothelioma Center (IMP) at Brigham and Women’s Hospital was founded by Dr. David Sugarbaker, an international expert on mesothelioma in 2002. It has grown to become the largest center for mesothelioma care in the world. The mesothelioma team of 80 caregivers, scientists, and support staff all work toward the mission of the IMP. According to the web site, www.impmeso.org, the three- part mission is :
• Our clinical team “goes for broke” to develop and employ the most effective, cutting edge treatment strategies to offer quality life extension for patients.
• Our scientists bring together basic, translational, and clinical research to understand how and why mesothelioma develops and translate their findings into improved patient care.
• Our supportive staff includes social workers, chaplains, and patient coordinators whose work helps improve the quality of life for our patients and their family and friends.
Dr. Raphael Bueno is the Chief of the Thoracic Surgery Division of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He is also the Director of the International Mesothelioma Program; Vice- Chair of Surgery for Cancer and Translational Research; Co-Director, Brigham and Women’s Hospital Lung Center; and Professor of Surgery, Harvard Medical School. Dr. Bueno has been with the IMP since its inception.
The team that works with the IMP includes oncologists from the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, radiologists with the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Dana Farber. Support team members including chaplains, social workers, and nurses. All of these professionals have an interest in improving the lives of mesothelioma patients.
According to Dr. Bueno “We’re on the brink of incredible breakthroughs in the diagnosis and treatment of mesothelioma. Having been at the International Mesothelioma Program (IMP) since its inception, and now serving as director of this world-renowned program, I’m incredibly proud of our progress to date. Thanks to the incredible talent and dedication of our staff, we’re able to provide comprehensive, cohesive, life-extending mesothelioma care to our patients. Here at the IMP, we believe that mesothelioma should ultimately be treated as a chronic disease. This means taking a long-term view of the patient/provider relationship, knowing that, just like other chronic illnesses, patients’ symptoms must be managed on an ongoing basis. To that end, our staff remains involved with patients long after they leave Brigham and Women’s Hospital, maintaining strong ties to them and their families in the event that further treatment is needed.”
The International Mesothelioma Program has seen patients from all over the world. More than 2,200 patients representing all 50 states and many foreign countries have come to Boston to the IMP.
Research is a vital part of the IMP. The research focus of the IMP is collaboration. This is very important as mesothelioma is a very rare cancer, thus not commanding the funding of other cancers. The goal is to bring together researchers to help understand how and why mesothelioma develops and to translate the findings into improved patient care.
Scientists at the IMP are currently conducting research using the IMP Tumor Tissue Bank, which contains sample vials of about 1,000 patients. These scientists are able to perform genetic tests and genomic sequencing to aid in the diagnosis and prognosis of mesothelioma.
Clinical trials are the way that mesothelioma treatment advances. The IMP is involved, along with their partners in a number of collaborative clinical trials. Some of the partners are Verastem, Genetech and Castle Biosciences.
The IMP also provides a new patient orientation for patients and families, housing support while in the Boston area, support groups for caregivers, chaplaincy and social work support.
The number to call for new patients is 1-617-732-5922. This will connect you with the Division of Thoracic Surgery New Patient Coordinator, or request an appointment on line by going to www.impmeso.org and clicking on New Patient Appointment /Referral Form.