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Perlmutter Cancer Center, New York University Langone Medical Center, New York City

The Perlmutter Cancer Center at the NYU Langone Medical Center is a National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center, devoted to both research and treatment of cancer patients. With multiple locations throughout New York and teams of experts on staff, Perlmutter has a big reach, often taking on referrals of patients who cannot get adequate care elsewhere. Among these are mesothelioma patients, who can benefit from clinical trials, mesothelioma specialists, and a multi-disciplinary approach to care.

About NYU Langone Medical Center

The medical school at NYU has a long tradition of excellence, dating back to its founding in 1841. The Langone Medical Center connected to the medical school also has a long history—it actually dates back to the founding of the Almshouse Hospital in 1736—but the name was only changed from NYU Medical Center to NYU Langone Medical Center in 2008 when the facility received a $200 million donation from the Langone family. Year after year the Langone Medical Center, which includes several hospitals, is named as one of the top hospitals and medical centers in the country.

The Medical Center first received the distinction of housing a National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated cancer center in 1975. The cancer center is now known as the Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center. It includes multiple locations throughout the city, including serval Manhattan locations and facilities in Brooklyn, Queens, and Long Island.

The Perlmutter Cancer Center, an NCI-Designated Cancer Center

The Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center at the NYU Langone Medical Center is a cancer center that leads the way in both treatment and care for cancer patients and cancer research. The Cancer Center provides patients with a multi-disciplinary approach to treatment, providing a team of experts that analyzes each patient’s unique situation and needs and then develops a personalized treatment plan.

The Perlmutter Cancer Center is also a designated cancer center, a distinction given by the National Cancer Institute to only a limited number of facilities around the country. The designation demonstrates the Cancer Center’s commitment to advanced cancer research and translating that research into better approaches for treating, preventing, and diagnosing all types of cancer.

Mesothelioma Specialists

The Perlmutter Cancer Center is one of few cancer treatment facilities that actually have mesothelioma specialists on staff. As a rare type of cancer, not many specialists exist, but patients referred to Langone get the benefit of two such specialists as well as a whole staff of experts in all areas of medicine related to cancer treatment.

Dr. Harvey Pass is a cardiothoracic surgeon and mesothelioma specialists heading up Langone’s Thoracic Surgery Division. Dr. Pass has helped to develop fellowship programs at NYU to educate future experts in this field, and he has also led important research into understanding mesothelioma and the biomarkers that identify it, including the discovery of the biomarker osteopontin. At Langone, Dr. Pass has worked to develop the use of photodynamic therapy, a treatment that uses light to kill cancer cells. This minimally invasive procedure has helped mesothelioma patients live longer.

Also on staff at Langone is oncologist Daniel Sterman. Dr. Sterman is an expert in pulmonology, including diseases like mesothelioma. He has been instrumental in leading clinical trials using immunotherapy, vaccine therapy, and gene therapy to treat lung cancer and mesothelioma. He is also a leading proponent of using a multi-disciplinary approach to treat cancer patients.

Mesothelioma Treatment

Specialists, not just in mesothelioma, but also in radiology and other areas, collaborate at the Cancer Center to treat patients living with all types of mesothelioma. Treatment plans are individualized for each patient, and they are often multimodal, involving some combination of surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and any other treatment, such as photodynamic therapy, that may help the patient.

Surgical procedures are often one of the most important parts of cancer treatment. Patients with pleural mesothelioma can benefit from the expert thoracic surgeons working at Langone and those with any type of mesothelioma can benefit from a variety of procedures offered here: fluid drainage, pleurodesis, pleurectomy/decortication, and cytoreduction for peritoneal mesothelioma. Pleural mesothelioma patients may also be eligible for an extrapleural pneumonectomy, a radical surgery that can only be performed by experienced surgeons, like those on staff at Langone.

A variety of chemotherapy options are also available for patients, including those drugs that work best for pleural or peritoneal mesothelioma. Patients may also be enrolled in clinical trials that are testing novel chemotherapy drugs. Radiation therapy options include intensity-modulated radiation therapy, an advanced technique that uses a targeted beam of radiation to focus on the tumor while avoiding and protecting healthy tissues.

Support Services and Integrative Health

Care for cancer patients at Perlmutter and Langone does not stop with advanced medical treatments. Patients also get access to integrative care for wellness and support services. Some of the options patients may choose to help manage symptoms and side effects include oncology massage, acupuncture, lymphatic drainage, craniosacral therapy, and yoga. Support services are also available for caregivers, those who devote their time to caring for loved ones with cancer.

Research and Clinical Trials

As a National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center, the Perlmutter Cancer Center is dedicated to research as well as patient care. The Cancer Center conducts research with a translational philosophy: translating research results into real solutions that provide patients with better outcomes. The main areas of research are basic cancer laboratory research, research that connects laboratory work to clinical outcomes, the development of therapeutic protocols, population-based research to help prevent cancer, and research that aims to find out what barriers to good cancer care exist.

Research at Perlmutter is also divided into disease management groups. Researchers working on mesothelioma are part of the thoracic oncology research group. Mesothelioma and lung cancer are the main focuses of this group of oncologists, surgeons, radiologists, and pulmonologists. The research group leads a number of clinical trials, especially focusing on targeted therapies and immunotherapies as novel approaches to treating patients. The researchers in this group are also working on using biomarkers to help screen for and detect mesothelioma earlier.

The Perlmutter Cancer Center at NYU Langone Medical Center is a leader in treating patients with mesothelioma. Thanks to the specialists that work here and the commitment to researching this rare cancer, patients benefit from the expertise of a range of clinicians and the results of research and clinical trials.

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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