Remembering Dr. Sugarbaker (1953-2018)
Dr. David Sugarbaker, renowned thoracic surgeon, passed away at the age of 65.
Dr. Sugarbaker was a giant in the field of treating mesothelioma. He was a pioneering thoracic surgical oncologist and Director of the Baylor Lung Institute at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center in Houston, TX. In 2014, he helped open the Comprehensive Pulmonary Treatment Center at Baylor Clinic.
Dr. Sugarbaker played an integral role in developing this critical diagnostic, research and treatment facility for serious lung diseases, including for pleural mesothelioma.
In addition to leading the Division of General Thoracic Surgery at Baylor Lung Institute, Dr. Sugarbaker was also the Olga Keith Weiss Chair Professor of Surgery at the Baylor College of Medicine.
As a surgical professor, Dr. Sugarbaker was tasked with the important role of training the next generation of thoracic surgeons, who are positioned to continue the critical work of Dr. Sugarkber and other surgeons in the field of mesothelioma.
As one of the most prominent figures in the mesothelioma community, Dr. Sugarbaker’s Mesothelioma Treatment Center at Baylor attracts patients from all over the country. Known as “Dr. Mesothelioma”, Dr. Sugarbaker was highly respected by his patients and colleagues alike.
Dr. Avi Lebenthal, another mesothelioma specialist who mentored under Dr. Sugarbaker, has referred to him as the “gold standard” of mesothelioma care.
Dr. Sugarbaker approached patient care from a multimodal care philosophy, believing that no two cases of mesothelioma are the same and each patient requires a tailored treatment plan. He was also a promoter of the belief that a cure for mesothelioma is an eventual reality.