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Thousands of people in Louisiana have died from mesothelioma in the last 20 years, primarily because of asbestos exposure in industrial workplaces. Those who are still living with mesothelioma benefit from specialized cancer care. New Orleans is home to one of the best cancer treatment centers in the country.
Louisiana Cancer Centers
Louisiana does not have a lot of cancer centers, but it does have excellent treatment options for anyone living with mesothelioma.
The Gayle and Tom Benson Cancer Center
The Ochsner Medical Center Gayle and Tom Benson Cancer Center in New Orleans is the largest cancer facility in the state. It offers patients a range of services for all types of cancers. There are many reasons for mesothelioma patient to seek treatment here:
- The goal of the Benson Cancer Center is to offer patients both compassionate care and the most advanced treatments available.
- The Center treats patients but also educates medical professionals and conducts innovative cancer research.
- Treatment is based on a multidisciplinary approach, with multiple experts working to plan care for each patient.
- The Multidisciplinary Lung Cancer Clinic provides excellent care and includes treatment for pleural mesothelioma.
- Surgeons at the Benson Cancer Center were the first in the state and among the first ever to use HIPEC, an innovative type of chemotherapy, to treat pleural mesothelioma.
Louisiana Cancer Research Center
The Louisiana Cancer Research Center is housed at Tulane University in New Orleans. It opened in 2002 to conduct cancer research. It does not offer patient treatment, but the Center does conduct numerous clinical trials. Mesothelioma patients who qualify may enroll in active trials here.
There may be only one major cancer center in the state, but Louisiana residents do not need to go far for other options. One of the best cancer facilities in the world, staffed by multiple mesothelioma specialists, is in nearby Houston, Texas. The MD Anderson Cancer Center has been leading the way in mesothelioma research and patient care for decades.
Mesothelioma Treatment Specialists
The Benson Cancer Center houses a lung cancer program that focuses on all related cancers, including pleural mesothelioma. Some of the physicians in this department specialize in or are qualified to treat mesothelioma patients.
Brian L. Pettiford, M.D.
Dr. Pettiford is a thoracic surgeon at the Gayle and Tom Benson Cancer Center. Thoracic surgeons perform procedures in the chest cavity, which includes surgeries to treat pleural mesothelioma. He specializes in procedures that are as minimally invasive as possible to reduce side effects and speed recovery times.
Clinical Trials in Louisiana
A clinical trial presents an opportunity for patients with mesothelioma to access treatments that are not available to everyone. These trials recruit patients to test the effectiveness and safety of novel drugs, procedures, and therapies.
Talk to your medical team about the possibility of participating in a clinical trial. There are risks and benefits, and they can help you make that choice and determine if you qualify. You may want to look for more trials going on in nearby Texas, but in Louisiana, there are two currently recruiting mesothelioma patients:
Nivolumab and Ipilimumab in Treating Patients With Rare Tumors
This study is taking on patients with several different types of rare cancers, including peritoneal mesothelioma. Researchers are investigating the usefulness of a combination of two immunotherapy drugs, ipilimumab and nivolumab.
This is a large study with nearly 1,000 locations. You should be able to find one near you. In Louisiana, you can participate at medical facilities in Baton Rouge, Kenner, Metairie, and New Orleans.
Integrated Cancer Repository for Cancer Research
Consider this study if you would like to contribute to furthering cancer research without trying a novel treatment. Researchers need patients with a range of cancer types to contribute information and tissue samples. These will be used to learn more about cancer risk factors, cancer development and prevention, early detection, novel treatments, and personalized treatments.
Living with mesothelioma is difficult, but it can be easier if you have the right treatment and do not have to travel far for it. New Orleans is home to one of the best cancer centers in the world. Prioritize your treatment and find specialists who can help you feel better and live longer.
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.