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Memorial Sloan Kettering

As the world’s oldest and largest private cancer center, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Center has grown from a small facility to a 432-bed center with a focus on hundreds of types of cancer, including mesothelioma.

Memorial Sloan-Kettering, located in New York City, is known to focus on a variety of types of asbestos cancer, including the pleural and peritoneal varieties. It ranked the No. 2 cancer center in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Reports. The center is a leader in treatments that include chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. It is also one of the few designated by the National Cancer Institute as a Comprehensive Cancer Center. That means it meets high standards of research, patient care and education, among other things.

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Treatment and Physicians

While every Memorial Sloan-Kettering patient receives individualized care, many asbestos-cancer patients are treated in a multimodal fashion. That means the treatment includes systemic chemotherapy, radiation and possibly surgery. The hospital is known for its leading physicians who are continually utilizing cutting-edge therapies that lead to better survival rates. These physicians include the following:

  • Dr. Valerie Rusch - As the hospital’s director of thoracic services, Dr. Rusch believes in making all patients feel at ease during the difficult time of treatment. She tries to curtail patient discomfort by utilizing minimally invasive treatments. This leads to shorter hospital stays. In her decades of experience, she has become an expert in diagnosing and treating asbestos-cancer patients, especially those with the pleural variety. She focuses on a multidisciplinary approach, which means she welcomes input from other physicians and medical experts for treatment.
  • Dr. Lee Krug - As a thoracic oncologist, Krug understands the variety of approaches needed to treat asbestos-related cancers. He is passionate about asbestos-cancer research, but said there’s a lot of work ahead for a cure. He is a member of the board of directors for the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation.
  • Dr. Marjorie G. Zauderer - A medical oncologist, Zauderer specializes in treating patients with lung cancer, including asbestos cancer. She is particularly interested in the genetic predisposition to cancer and is currently running asbestos-cancer clinical trials. The hospital also has a series of training programs aimed at preparing the next generation of researchers and physicians.


Every year, Memorial Sloan-Kettering takes on hundreds of cancer clinical trials, including ones specifically aimed at asbestos cancer. Because Memorial Sloan-Kettering treats a larger volume of patients with mesothelioma than other area hospitals, researchers have been able to perform multiple clinical trials.

In recent years, the researchers there led the largest international randomized trial in mesothelioma on a medication called vorinostat. While the drug, which was developed at Memorial Sloan-Kettering, didn’t show any benefit for asbestos-cancer patients, more large-scale trials continue. Trials that continue today include one that is looking at an investigational drug for peritoneal and pleural mesothelioma and another that looks at a new way of delivering radiation called intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT).


Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Our Clinical Trials. Retrieved from http://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/adult/mesothelioma/clinical-trials

National Cancer Institute. Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center New York, New York. Retrieved from http://www.cancer.gov/researchandfunding/extramural/cancercenters/find-a-cancer-center/memorialsloankettering