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Too many Kentucky residents have had to face a diagnosis of mesothelioma, a rare cancer that is difficult to treat. If you have been given this diagnosis, it is essential to find expert treatment. Kentucky has excellent cancer centers, and one facility recognized by the National Cancer Institute (NCI).
Cancer Treatment Centers in Kentucky
The NCI recognizes only the best cancer centers in the U.S. These are facilities that provide expert care for patients and contribute to important cancer research. Kentucky has one NCI-designated facility as well as other cancer centers.
Markey Cancer Center
Located at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, the Markey Cancer Center is an NCI-designated cancer center. The center is dedicated to cancer research but also education, treatment, and engagement with the community, including the rural and under-served populations of Appalachia.
For any cancer patient, this is an excellent treatment center, but for mesothelioma patients, it offers some of the most expert staff and advanced treatment technologies in the state. There are several reasons to choose Markey for treatment:
- Access to clinical trials for the newest treatments
- Individualized treatment plans developed by a team of experts in different specialties
- CAR T-Cell therapy, an advanced type of immunotherapy not available everywhere
- HIPEC, an innovative treatment for peritoneal mesothelioma that most cancer centers do not offer
- A wide range of cancers treated, including mesothelioma
- An integrative medicine approach
- Support services, including support groups, financial counseling, nutritional counseling, and social work
Markey has a gastrointestinal cancer program that can treat patients with peritoneal mesothelioma, which is less common than pleural mesothelioma. Pleural patients can also find treatment here through the lung cancer program and the expert thoracic surgeons and oncologists on staff.
James Graham Brown Cancer Center
The James Graham Brown Cancer Center is part of the University of Louisville. Experts on staff here can treat mesothelioma. Pleural patients benefit from the Multidisciplinary Lung Cancer Clinic and its team of oncologists, surgeons, pulmonologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists, and other professionals.
In addition to the experts here who can treat mesothelioma, the James Graham Brown Cancer Center is staffed by world-class researchers. Patients have access to more clinical trials here than at most locations in the state.
Kentucky Mesothelioma Specialists
Not all states have cancer centers with physicians who can treat mesothelioma. Kentucky is home to several, as well as thoracic surgeons with the expertise to treat pleural mesothelioma.
Joseph Kim, M.D.
Dr. Kim is a surgical oncologist at the Markey Cancer Center and the Chief of the Division of Surgical Oncology. He specializes in treating several types of gastrointestinal cancers, including peritoneal mesothelioma. He offers patients with this cancer the most effective treatment: cytoreductive surgery with HIPEC, a special kind of chemotherapy.
Jordan D. Miller, D.O.
Dr. Miller is a thoracic surgeon and a part of the Markey Lung and Thoracic Cancer Team. He works with the multidisciplinary team to treat a range of cancers, including pleural mesothelioma. Surgery is an important part of treatment for most patients with this type of cancer, and Dr. Miller specializes in using minimally invasive procedures whenever possible.
Clinical Trials for Mesothelioma Patients
A clinical trial is an important way for cancer patients to access developing treatments. These studies recruit patients to help test the effectiveness of new therapies and procedures to advance treatments. For patients, it represents hope for a better outcome.
Kentucky is currently hosting three different clinical trials recruiting mesothelioma patients. Talk to your medical team about finding out if you qualify and weigh the benefits and risks of participating. The available studies include:
- Pembrolizumab With or Without Anetumab Ravtansine in Treating Patients With Mesothelin-Positive Pleural Mesothelioma. If you have pleural mesothelioma and meet certain other requirements, you may qualify for this study of a combination of immunotherapy drugs. The trial location is the Markey Cancer Center in Lexington.
- Nivolumab and Ipilimumab in Treating Patients With Rare Tumors. This large study also needs peritoneal mesothelioma patients to participate. There are nearly 1,000 study locations in the country and several in Kentucky. The trial is to test the combination of two immunotherapy drugs.
If you have received a mesothelioma diagnosis and live in Kentucky, you may not have to travel far to get expert care. There are mesothelioma specialists and excellent treatment facilities right in the state.
Page Edited by Patient Advocate Dave Foster
Dave has been a mesothelioma Patient Advocate for over 10 years. He consistently attends all major national and international mesothelioma meetings. In doing so, he is able to stay on top of the latest treatments, clinical trials, and research results. He also personally meets with mesothelioma patients and their families and connects them with the best medical specialists and legal representatives available.