Dr. David Sugarbaker

How to Contact Dr. David Sugarbaker

Speacializes in Thoracic Surgery
Lung Institute at Baylor College of Medicine
One Baylor Plaza, BCM MS 390
Houston, TX 77030
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Medical Background

Dr. David Sugarbaker is one of the premier experts in the treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma. He is the surgeon who is credited for advancing trimodal treatment practices for the first time among patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma. Most of Dr. Sugarbaker’s research has focused on his trimodal plan of treatment to combat the fatal disease. This superior treatment approach includes radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and radical surgery.

Dr. David Sugarbaker is a world-renowned expert in the diagnosis of mesothelioma based on his trimodal procedure for treating patients affected by toxic asbestos exposure. His continued dedication to the trimodal treatment approach has led to major improvements in prolonging life expectancy rates among patients with malignant pleural meosthelioma. The continuing medical research that is dedicated to improving treatment for mesothelioma patients has a considerable focus on discovering which specific cancer drugs are best for individual patients.

As the leader of a research team at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, he discovered that chemotherapy does not work for all patients because the genetic mutations in the cancer cells within different patients’ tumor of different varied and were not uniform. This noteworthy discovery is helping researchers assist doctors in tailoring drugs that have a better likelihood of treating the cancer effectively, which can improve a patient’s prognosis and quality of life. Presently, Dr. David Sugarbaker is the Chief of General Thoracic Surgery and Professor of Surgery at the Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery and Director of the Lung Institute at Baylor College of Medicine.

He also served as Chief Thoracic Surgery at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School, and Executive Vice-Chair of the Department of Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Dr. Sugarbaker’s Treatment Approach for Patients Diagnosed with Mesothelioma:

  • Extrapleural pneumonectomy – For patients to be able to qualify for this type of surgery, doctors must determine they exhibit overall good health. This surgery removes the cancerous lung and all other affected areas that surround it. There are several other factors that help surgeons such as Dr. Sugarbaker determine the likely effectiveness of this procedure. The meosthelioma must be limited to only one pleural surface and there must be favorable kidney and cardiac function.
  • Chemotherapy – Chemotherapy is utilized as a treatment option after surgery in order to battle any remaining cancer. Dr. Sugarbaker and his team of medical researchers are continuing to experiment with several chemotherapy drugs that can provide optimal results for patients.
  • Pleurectomy – There are some instances when Dr.Sugarbaker’s trimodal approach engages the use of pleurectomy instead of the more critical procedure called extrapleural pneumonectomy. A pleurectomy requires the removal of dual layers of the lining of the lungs, known as the pleura. Similarly, a patient must be in good health in order to be eligible for this surgical procedure.
  • Radiation – Radiation therapy, including the use of external-beam radiation, also is utilized to combat any remaining cancer cells after surgery.