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In Minnesota, mesothelioma treatment and doctors are not hard to find. Two world-class cancer centers are right in the state, staffed by experts and specialists. Turn to these medical teams to help you or a loved one diagnosed with mesothelioma.
Cancer Treatment Centers in Minnesota
You do not have to travel far to find the best cancer care if you live in Minnesota. Mesothelioma is challenging to treat, and few physicians are qualified to treat it, let alone those who specialize in it. Two National Cancer Institute (NCI)-recognized facilities in the state staff these experts and offer excellent care to both pleural and peritoneal patients.
Masonic Cancer Center
A part of the University of Minnesota, the Masonic Cancer Center is an NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center. It received this designation for excellence in patient care and cancer research. For mesothelioma patients, Masonic has a lot to offer:
- The HIPEC team offers this innovative treatment for peritoneal mesothelioma patients. Oncologists and surgeons work together to provide surgery followed by HIPEC.
- The HIPEC program at Masonic is one of the longest running in the Midwest.
- Several staff members specialize in thoracic cancers and surgery. Together in collaborative teams they offer treatment for pleural mesothelioma.
- The thoracic surgery department is experienced in minimally-invasive and robotic procedures.
- Treatment teams combine services to provide patients with comprehensive care. These include imaging, risk management, integrative therapies, blood and marrow transplant, pulmonology, and more.
- Support services include integrative therapies, support groups, nutrition, fertility protection, social work, medical equipment, cancer rehabilitation, homecare, and spiritual health.
Mayo Clinic Cancer Center
Truly a world-famous facility, the Mayo Clinic in Rochester is also a Comprehensive Cancer Center. The Mayo Clinic became one of the first centers to be acknowledged by the NCI back in 1973. The original Minnesota location has since expanded to Florida and Arizona to offer services to more people. The Mayo Clinic treats many different types of cancer, even rare cancers like mesothelioma.
- The Mayo Clinic staff includes experts in nearly every type of cancer, including mesothelioma, and sees more than 150,000 patients each year.
- The Lung Cancer Program includes the Mesothelioma Specialty Group, a collaborative team that treats more mesothelioma patients than most other cancer centers.
- Teams of specialists at Mayo include medical and radiation oncologists, surgeons, pulmonologists, pathologists, and palliative care physicians.
- Patients benefit from cutting edge treatments and procedures, like the SMART protocol.
- The Mayo Clinic leads the way in conducting clinical trials, many of which enroll mesothelioma patients.
- Peritoneal mesothelioma patients can receive HIPEC treatment at Mayo, from experienced specialists.
Physicians Treating Mesothelioma in Minnesota
With two nationally important cancer centers in Minnesota, it’s not hard for residents with mesothelioma to find a qualified physician. Most work in collaborative teams providing expert care in all areas of treatment.
Amit Bhargava, M.D.
A thoracic surgeon at Masonic Cancer Center, Dr. Bhargava treats patients with pleural mesothelioma. He can also treat other types of thoracic cancers, lung cancer, and pleural effusions. He is skilled in minimally invasive procedures that help patients recover sooner.
Shanda Blackmon, M.D., M.P.H.
Dr. Blackmon is a thoracic surgeon and a part of the Lung Cancer Program at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. She works in the mesothelioma program to provide surgical procedures for patients with the pleural form. She is skilled in using video-assisted surgery and minimally invasive surgeries for the best patient outcomes.
Travis E. Grotz, M.D.
Dr. Grotz works as a surgical oncologist at the Mayo Clinic. He specializes in working with multidisciplinary teams to treat patients with advanced gastrointestinal cancers, including peritoneal mesothelioma. He provides HIPEC treatment for these patients, one of the few doctors with experience performing it.
Minnesota Clinical Trials for Mesothelioma Patients
Consider asking your medical team about enrolling in a clinical trial. These studies work with patients to test new treatments and procedures. They provide patients with difficult cancers like mesothelioma with greater hope of a better outcome. The treatments available are only available through these trials. Right now, Minnesota is home to several trials recruiting mesothelioma patients, many at the Mayo Clinic:
- Staging Procedures to Diagnose Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma. Clinical trials also study better strategies for diagnosing cancers. This study needs participants to help improve the accuracy of using imaging to identify pleural mesothelioma.
- Surgery for Mesothelioma After Radiation Therapy “SMART” for Resectable Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma. Patients eligible for surgery may qualify for this study looking at the use of radiation therapy after surgical procedures to remove pleural tumors.
- Chemotherapy Followed by Surgery and Neoadjuvant Hemothoracic Intensity Modified Radiation Therapy (IMRT) for Patients With Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma. This study is testing the effectiveness of a trimodal approach to treating mesothelioma. Patients receive chemotherapy, followed by surgery, and an advanced type of radiation therapy.
- Phase II Nivolumab and Ramucirumab for Patients With Previously-Treated Mesothelioma. Patients already treated for mesothelioma can help with this study of a combination of two immunotherapy drugs.
- Pleurectomy/Decortication (Neo) Adjuvant Chemotherapy and Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy to the Pleura in Patients With Locally Advanced Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma. Researchers need patients with advanced pleural mesothelioma to test the effectiveness of a type of radiation therapy that causes fewer side effects.
- Pembrolizumab With or Without Anetumab Ravtansine in Treating Patients With Mesothelin-Positive Pleural Mesothelioma. For patients with a specific marker for pleural mesothelioma, this may be the right clinical trial. It is investigating the use of an immunotherapy drug alone or in combination with another.
If you have received a diagnosis of mesothelioma or need a second opinion, Minnesota is a good place to be. Check out these excellent treatment centers for an accurate diagnosis, a careful treatment plan, and access to high-tech treatments and clinical trials.
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.