Where Can I Get Mesothelioma Treatment Through the VA?
The VA has three medical centers that treat veterans with mesothelioma. Learn more about these medical centers below.
West Los Angeles VA Medical Center
For over 20 years, the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center has worked with the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) Comprehensive Mesothelioma Program to treat veterans with pleural mesothelioma.
The facility offers all standard forms of mesothelioma treatment and several newer therapies.
Notable treatments available at this facility include:
- Pleurectomy with decortication (P/D): A surgery that removes cancerous tumors from the lung lining but does not remove the lung itself
- Immunotherapy: This treatment trains the immune system to target and destroy mesothelioma cells
- Cryoablation: This technique involves using extreme cold to shrink mesothelioma tumors
The West Los Angeles VA Medical Center also specializes in treating sarcomatoid mesothelioma — the most aggressive mesothelioma cell type.
Dr. Robert Cameron
The head of mesothelioma surgery at the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center is Dr. Robert Cameron. As the creator of the P/D surgery, he is one of the world’s leading experts on mesothelioma treatment.
Under Dr. Cameron’s leadership, the care team at the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center works to improve patient lifespans and research new, effective treatments.
“We treat mesothelioma like a chronic disease, similar to diabetes or high blood pressure. And these are both diseases that you can’t cure, but people can live for an extremely long period of time if they’re controlled.”
– Dr. Robert Cameron
Visit the UCLA Health website to learn more about Dr. Robert Cameron.
The Mesothelioma Cancer Network has no affiliation with and is not endorsed or sponsored by Dr. Robert B. Cameron. The information on this page is listed for informational purposes only. You have the right to contact Dr. Cameron directly.
VA Boston Health Care System
The VA Boston Health Care System treats pleural mesothelioma through a partnership with Brigham & Women’s Hospital, one of the top mesothelioma hospitals in the world.
Doctors at the VA Boston Health Care System can perform two types of life-extending mesothelioma surgeries: the P/D and the extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP), which removes cancerous tumors and the lung closest to them.
Dr. Abraham “Avi” Lebenthal
Dr. Avi Lebenthal started work on the VA Boston Health Care System’s mesothelioma program in 2010 to help ensure high-quality care was available to veterans, and he leads the program to this day.
After serving as a doctor in the Israeli army for nearly 20 years, Dr. Lebenthal understands the sacrifices that service members make and is dedicated to providing veterans and civilians alike with unmatched support and care.
“As a nation, the most valuable resource we have is our people, morally and ethically we are obliged to provide them with the best possible care, especially our veterans.”
– Dr. Avi Lebenthal
Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center
Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center in Houston, which works in tandem with the Baylor College of Medicine, established its Mesothelioma Program in 2019.
Mesothelioma Doctors at the DeBakey VA Medical Center
Dr. Lorraine Cornwell serves as the leader of the VA Mesothelioma Program in Houston and collaborates with Dr. Taylor Ripley to help veterans get the care they deserve.
In addition, peritoneal mesothelioma specialist Dr. Eugene A. Choi is also available to treat veterans with mesothelioma through this program. This is very important since almost all other VA mesothelioma specialists treat pleural mesothelioma.
“Fortunately, the work we’re doing with the VA as we ramp up and start to see more and more patients with mesothelioma in Houston, has the Baylor program right across the street to support that as it grows, so we can eventually have these as a synergistic, one program together.”
– Dr. Taylor Ripley