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Marcelo DaSilva, M.D.

Dr. Marcelo DaSilva is a leading expert in thoracic surgery and specializes in lung cancer, lung cancer screening, and innovative treatments for both pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma. He is currently the health system Care New England’s chief of thoracic surgery and also holds several other positions, including at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Kent County Memorial Hospital, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Harvard Medical School. Dr. DaSilva is from Brazil, but has been practicing and specializing in cancer and mesothelioma in the U.S. for over 25 years. He believes firmly in treating each patient with an individualized approach.

Education and Early Career

Dr. DaSilva went to medical school at the Universidade Gama Filho in Brazil, graduating in 1990. He then completed his residencies in the U.S. at the Sound Shore Medical Center and Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine. He also completed two fellowships: the trauma and surgical critical care fellowship at Pennsylvania State University and the cardiovascular and thoracic surgery fellowship at Loyola University’s Stritch School of Medicine. He is currently certified in cardiothoracic and general surgery.

Dr. DaSilva also spent some of his early years as a doctor at the New York Medical School Educational Consortium. Here he worked on research at the VA Medical Center while also working on his residency program at Sound Shore Medical Center. During his years in New York, Dr. DaSilva had a wide range of surgical experiences including working as a trauma surgeon and learning neurosurgery and pediatric surgery.

During his residency at Pennsylvania State University, Dr. DaSilva worked at the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and earned an outstanding achievement award from the Bristol-Myers Squibb Scholars of Surgery. Upon completion of his general surgery residency, Dr. DaSilva earned a certificate in surgery and critical care from the American Board of Surgery.

A Pioneer in Heated Chemotherapy Treatment

As a thoracic surgeon Dr. DaSilva developed an interest in treating patients with mesothelioma. His other interests in the clinical setting include lung cancer, pleural effusion, esophageal cancer, lung transplantation, minimally invasive surgical procedures, gastroesophageal reflux disease, thymoma, thymic cancer, and hernia management.

Although Dr. DaSilva has many clinical interests, he has made important advances in the treatment of mesothelioma. He is a pioneer in the use of heated intraoperative chemotherapy, or HIOC. This treatment was first used for peritoneal mesothelioma and involves the surgical removal of as much of the tumors as possible, followed by the circulation of heated chemotherapy drugs through the abdominal cavity. The success of this treatment has been promising and Dr. DaSilva was responsible for adding HIOC treatment of peritoneal mesothelioma to the cancer program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Dr. DaSilva was also one of the first doctors to use HIOC to treat pleural mesothelioma.

Current Positions and Honors

Dr. DaSilva currently holds several positions and is an internationally-recognized thoracic surgeon and expert in the diagnosis and treatment of mesothelioma. He is the director of thoracic surgery for Care New England, a surgeon in the Division of Thoracic Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and a lecturer at Harvard Medical School.

He is also a member of several professional organizations: the International Society of Heart and Lung Transplantation, the International Association Study of Lung Cancer, the International Society of Surgery, the Society of Thoracic Surgery, and the European and the Brazilian Societies of Thoracic Surgery. He is also a Fellow in the American College of Surgeons and a diplomat in the American Board of Surgery.

Comprehensive and Individualized Treatment

Dr. DaSilva is a recognized expert and leader in his field, and he takes a unique approach to the treatment of his patients. He believes in treating each patient by developing an individualized plan that is comprehensive in nature. He also believes in treating mesothelioma generally in a comprehensive way. He realized early on that Brigham and Women’s Hospital only treated pleural mesothelioma, but that many of his patients who were initially diagnosed with the pleural form of the disease eventually developed peritoneal tumors. It was Dr. DaSilva’s leadership that brought the treatment of peritoneal mesothelioma to the institution in order to better treat patients in a more comprehensive way.

Dr. DaSilva considers himself to be an optimist, something that is needed to treat patients for mesothelioma. With his dedicated optimism, extensive experience, and willingness to think in different ways about treatment, patients are fortunate to be under the care of Dr. DaSilva.

Page edited by 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. Connect with Patient Advocate Dave Foster

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