Dr. David J. Sugarbaker, M.D., a board certified thoracic surgeon, is most well-known for his work in developing surgical techniques to treat mesothelioma patients and offer them a prolonged quality of life. He presently serves as the Chief of Thoracic Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. In the early 1980’s when Brigham and Women’s Hospital began treating mesothelioma patients, the options for surgery were not very promising. In 1988, Dr. Sugarbaker established a separate division of Thoracic Surgery and later increased the hospital’s focus on mesothelioma patients. In 2002, Dr. Sugarbaker helped to establish the International Mesothelioma Program at the Hospital which brings together physicians and researchers for multiple disciplines who are all focused on finding a cure for mesothelioma.
Dr. Sugarbaker has been the recipient of funding from the National Cancer Institute. Because of his position as Chair of the Surgery Committee of the Cancer and Leukemia Group B (CALGB), he has played a leadership role in developing the clinical investigation of the role of surgery in cancer therapy trials. This effort has supported the clinical investigation of new therapies in thoracic, GI and breast malignancies.