Mesothelioma cancer centers are facilities that specialize in the treatment of the rare cancer.  These specialized treatment facilities provide a complete spectrum of services needed in the treatment of mesothelioma.

Finding a Mesothelioma Cancer Center

Mesothelioma is an extremely rare cancer and most facilities are not equipped to provide optimal care.  Finding the right mesothelioma cancer center offers mesothelioma patients the best chance at improving their prognosis.  There are a number of factors that patients must consider in order to locate the right facility.

Experienced Specialists

Only 3,000 new cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed each year.  Even though oncologists, radiologists and surgeons have highly specialized training, few physicians are experienced in treating mesothelioma.  The right cancer center will offer access to specialists who have experience and expertise in treating mesothelioma.

Comprehensive Experience

There are multiple types of mesothelioma based on location of the cancer, tumor cell type and stage of disease.  Mesothelioma cancer centers that have experience in treating the full range of mesothelioma offer the best option for improved prognosis.

Multi-disciplinary Approach

Though the primary mesothelioma specialist is the most critical member of the treatment team, access to other physicians and health care professionals is also essential.  Mesothelioma cancer centers offer experienced oncologists, surgeons, radiologists along with experienced nurses and technicians who can work together in a multi-disciplinary team.

Individualized Plans

Each case of mesothelioma is unique with regards specific type, tumor cell type, and cancer stage.  In addition, each patient presents a different set of characteristics based on age, history, general health and personal desires.  Experienced mesothelioma cancer centers will be able to tailor treatment plans to fit each individual patient.

Surgical Capacity

Surgery is often the most effective treatment method used.  It is a critical part of curative treatment plans and provides the greatest chance for improved prognosis.  In other cases, surgery conducted as a palliative treatment can be effective at reducing symptom severity and improving quality of life and in some patients, may increase life expectancy.  Mesothelioma treatment centers must offer adequate access to specialist surgeons and facilities to perform appropriate procedures.

Access to Emerging Treatment

Many patients benefit from traditional treatment options including surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.  In many cases however, access to newer therapies may offer the best chance for improved outcome.  Mesothelioma cancer centers that offer access to investigational trials and clinical studies will provide an optimal combination of traditional and newer treatments.

Optimal Location

Some mesothelioma treatment procedures require numerous visits and the location of a mesothelioma cancer center is an important factor.  Most mesothelioma treatment facilities are affiliated with universities and academic institutions located in large urban areas.  For patients who do not have local access to a specialty facility, travel time and costs must be taken into account and the mesothelioma cancer center may be able to assist with temporary housing.

Insurance Acceptance

Like most other intensive medical treatments, mesothelioma care is costly and some facilities accept multiple types of insurance coverage.  In other cases, however, insurance may not cover treatment at the mesothelioma cancer center or a patient may not have adequate health insurance.  Clinical trials and investigational studies may be available to cover treatment costs.

Accreditation or Designation

Seeking treatment from a qualified, experienced mesothelioma cancer center is essential.  Mesothelioma treatment centers which are affiliated with major universities and / or have a designation from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) are easily identifiable as qualified.  In addition, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) is a non-profit alliance of cancer centers is a widely recognized designation.  Experienced mesothelioma cancer centers that have at least one of these three designations or affiliations, will offer the most comprehensive care with access to new and emerging treatments.

Mesothelioma Cancer Centers

Hospitals and medical centers that specialize in mesothelioma offer patients the right combination of experience, expertise, access to advanced care and accreditation.  Here are the top 10 nationally recognized mesothelioma cancer centers.

University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center – #1

Houston, Texas

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center tops the list of cancer treatment centers specializing in the treatment of mesothelioma.  The Thoracic Center at MD Anderson provides specialized care for mesothelioma patients and other lung or chest cancers.  It is home to more than 30 mesothelioma specialists and works with a coordinated team of support personnel.  The medical center is known for its involvement in cutting edge mesothelioma treatments, with a strong focus in research.  MD Anderson Cancer Center is a NCCN member institution and also has a NCI designation.  Ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the #1 cancer center for 11 out of 14 years, MD Anderson is the largest free-standing cancer center in the U.S., providing care for more than 127,000 cancer patients annually.

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center – #2

New York, New York

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center is recognized worldwide as a leader in the treatment of cancer.  It is one of the oldest cancer treatment centers in the U.S. and was one of the first to receive the NCI designation.  MSKCC is also a member institution of the NCCN and is dedicated to mesothelioma research and treatment.  The mesothelioma cancer center routinely conducts clinical trials and has been instrumental in the development of new treatments such as Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT).

Mayo Clinic Cancer Center – #3

Rochester, Minnesota

The Mayo Clinic is a system of hospitals with locations in several states.  Most mesothelioma treatment takes place at the central location in Rochester, Minnesota where the medical facility offers a team of physicians and health care professionals for patients with mesothelioma.  Mayo Clinic is a world-renowned hospital system with specialties in multiple areas and consistently ranks in the top three best cancer centers in the U.S.  It is a NCCN member institution and carries the NCI designation.  The Mayo Clinic has been a pioneer in mesothelioma research and has ongoing clinical trials for mesothelioma.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute / Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center – #4

Boston, MA

Dana-Farber / Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center, located in Boston, Massachusetts.  The International Mesothelioma Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital is a collaborative research and treatment program between multiple Boston-area medical and academic institutions which includes mesothelioma specialists from surgical oncology, medical oncology and radiation oncology.  Mesothelioma specialists at Dana-Farber have been involved in a variety of research programs including advanced surgical techniques using less-invasive robotic technology. It is a NCCN member institution and carries the NCI designation

Seattle Cancer Care Alliance / University of Washington Medical Center – #5

The Seattle Cancer Care Alliance is a cooperative effort between the University of Washington Medical Center and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.  The facility offers a number of mesothelioma specialists who work in concert with a team of health care professionals from a variety of disciplines.  Research and clinical trials are routinely conducted at SCCA including studies involving Intraoperative Photodynamic Therapy (IPT) and immunotherapy. SCCA is a NCCN member institution and carries the NCI designation

Johns Hopkins Hospital – #6

Baltimore, Maryland

The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center is part of Johns Hopkins Hospital.  SKCCC mesothelioma specialists are among the most prolific mesothelioma researchers and the center earns more federal research funding than any other facility in the U.S.  Johns Hopkins Hospital has been ranked as the #1 overall hospital in the U.S. and the cancer center has been in the top tier for over 20 years.  Johns Hopkins is a NCCN member institution and carries the NCI designation.

UC – Los Angeles Medical Center – #7

Los Angeles, California

The Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center is a world-renowned cancer treatment center with one of the most recognized lung cancer treatment programs.  The Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center at UCLA provides a team of mesothelioma specialists in a variety of disciplines and was the first hospital to use the lung-sparing surgical procedure of pleurectomy with decortication (PD).  Mesothelioma specialists at UCLA’s Comprehensive Mesothelioma Program also work in collaboration with researchers at the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center and the Pacific Meso Center.  Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center at UCLA is a National Cancer Institute designated facility.

Massachusetts General Hospital- #8

Boston, Massachusetts

Massachusetts General Hospital is the oldest and largest hospital in New England.  It is a Harvard Medical School-affiliated Hospital which is also a member of the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center and is part of the NCCN and carries the NCI designation.  The clinical research program at Mass General is the largest hospital-based program in the U.S. and has led to ground-breaking development in genotyping of tumor cells and the development of targeted therapy.

UC – San Francisco Medical Center- #9

The UCSF Hellen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center is an NCI designated hospital and an NCCN member institution.   UCSF mesothelioma treatment is performed by a variety of specialists who are also active in clinical research programs.  Pivotal mesothelioma research performed at UCSF includes the study of chemoresistance or the ability of mesothelioma tumor cells to resist treatment with chemotherapy medications.  This type of research may lead to more effective mesothelioma treatments.

Stanford Health Care – Stanford Hospital- #10

Stanford, California

The Stanford Cancer Institute is a relative newcomer in cancer treatment but has been ranked in the top tier of cancer treatment centers for a number of years.  The treatment center is also an NCI designated hospital and an NCCN member institution and has been prolific in the mesothelioma research arena with interdisciplinary cooperation.  Scientists and physicians involved in mesothelioma research have published a number of important findings about the cancer which may be instrumental in developing targeted therapies.   The facility offers access to a number of mesothelioma specialists in a variety of medical disciplines, many of whom are active in the conduct of investigational studies.

Additional Nationally Ranked Cancer Centers



National Comprehensive Cancer Network, (2016), NCCN Member Institutions,, accessed on 22 January 2016

National Cancer Institute, (2016), NCI-Designated Cancer Centers,, accessed on 22 January 2016

U.S. News and World Report, (2016), Best Hospitals for Adult Cancer, U.S. News and World Report Health, accessed on 27 January 2016


Links to Cancer Centers

University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center – #1

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center – #2

Mayo Clinic Cancer Center – #3

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute / Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center – #4

Seattle Cancer Care Alliance / University of Washington Medical Center – #5

Johns Hopkins Hospital – #6

UC – Los Angeles Medical Center – #7

Massachusetts General Hospital- #8

UC – San Francisco Medical Center- #9–procedures/malignant-mesothelioma-.aspx

Stanford Health Care – Stanford Hospital- #10