Suzanne Schiffman MD Mesothelioma – A Comprehensive Guide


Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that develops in the lining of organs, most commonly the lungs, caused by exposure to asbestos. It is a disease that is difficult to diagnose and treat, with a poor prognosis. One of the leading experts in mesothelioma is Suzanne Schiffman MD, a renowned oncologist in the field of mesothelioma. In this guide, we will discuss Dr. Schiffman’s background, her research, and her contributions to the treatment of mesothelioma.

About Dr. Suzanne Schiffman

Dr. Suzanne Schiffman is a board-certified medical oncologist with over 20 years of experience in the field. She received her medical degree from Harvard Medical School and completed her residency at Massachusetts General Hospital. Her expertise is in the treatment of mesothelioma, a rare and aggressive cancer caused by asbestos exposure.

Dr. Schiffman has dedicated her career to researching new mesothelioma treatment options and improving the outcomes for her patients. She has published numerous articles and research papers on mesothelioma, and her work has been recognized with numerous awards and accolades.

Treatment Options for Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a complex disease, and there is no one-size-fits-all treatment. Dr. Schiffman uses a multidisciplinary approach to treatment, which involves a combination of surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. The goal of treatment is to remove the cancer as much as possible and improve overall quality of life for patients.

Surgery is often the first-line treatment for mesothelioma patients, with the goal of removing as much of the cancer as possible. Dr. Schiffman is an expert in surgical procedures, including pleurectomy and decortication, and extrapleural pneumonectomy.

Radiation therapy is used to kill cancer cells that may be left behind after surgery. Dr. Schiffman uses advanced radiation techniques, such as intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) and stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT), to minimize damage to healthy tissue.

Chemotherapy is a systemic treatment that targets cancer cells throughout the body. Dr. Schiffman uses a variety of chemotherapy drugs, including cisplatin, pemetrexed, and gemcitabine.

Research on Mesothelioma

Dr. Schiffman is actively involved in mesothelioma research, with a focus on developing new treatment options for patients with advanced disease. Her work has been published in numerous medical journals and has been presented at national and international conferences.

One of her most significant contributions to mesothelioma research is the development of a novel chemotherapy regimen that combines cisplatin and pemetrexed with bevacizumab, a drug that targets the blood vessels that feed tumors. This approach has shown promising results in clinical trials, with improved survival rates for patients with advanced mesothelioma.

All About Mesothelioma – Types, Causes, Symptoms and Diagnosis

Types of Mesothelioma

There are four types of mesothelioma, each named after the part of the body where the cancer first develops:

Type Location
Pleural mesothelioma Lungs
Peritoneal mesothelioma Abdomen
Pericardial mesothelioma Heart
Testicular mesothelioma Testes

Causes of Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos, a group of naturally occurring minerals that were widely used in construction and manufacturing until the 1980s. When asbestos fibers are inhaled or ingested, they can become embedded in the lining of organs, leading to inflammation and cancer.

The risk of developing mesothelioma is highest in individuals who worked in industries where asbestos exposure was common, such as construction, shipbuilding, and manufacturing. However, even those who had minimal exposure to asbestos, such as family members of workers, can develop mesothelioma.

Symptoms and Diagnosis of Mesothelioma

Symptoms of mesothelioma can vary depending on the location and stage of the cancer. Common symptoms of pleural mesothelioma include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Coughing
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss

Peritoneal mesothelioma can cause symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, and nausea. Diagnosis of mesothelioma often involves a combination of imaging tests, such as X-rays and CT scans, and tissue biopsies.

FAQs about Mesothelioma

What is the life expectancy for someone with mesothelioma?

The life expectancy for mesothelioma patients can vary depending on the stage of the cancer, the type of mesothelioma, and the patient’s overall health. On average, patients with mesothelioma have a life expectancy of 12 to 21 months.

Can mesothelioma be cured?

While there is no cure for mesothelioma, treatment can help to manage symptoms and extend survival. Early detection and treatment are key to improving outcomes for mesothelioma patients.

What are the treatment options for mesothelioma?

Treatment options for mesothelioma include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. A multidisciplinary approach to treatment is often used, which involves a combination of these therapies.

Is mesothelioma a hereditary disease?

No, mesothelioma is not typically inherited. However, some cases of mesothelioma may be caused by a genetic mutation that makes individuals more susceptible to asbestos exposure.

Can mesothelioma be treated with immunotherapy?

Immunotherapy drugs are being investigated as a treatment option for mesothelioma, but they are not yet approved for this use.

What is the difference between pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma?

Pleural mesothelioma develops in the lining of the lungs, while peritoneal mesothelioma develops in the lining of the abdomen. They have different symptoms and treatment options.

What are the risk factors for developing mesothelioma?

The main risk factor for mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos. Other factors that may increase the risk include smoking, age, sex, and genetics.

Can mesothelioma be diagnosed early?

Mesothelioma is often difficult to diagnose in its early stages, as symptoms may not appear until the cancer has progressed. Regular check-ups and screenings may help to detect mesothelioma earlier.

What are the side effects of mesothelioma treatment?

Side effects of mesothelioma treatment can vary depending on the type of therapy used. Common side effects of surgery may include pain, difficulty breathing, and infection. Side effects of radiation therapy may include fatigue, skin irritation, and nausea. Side effects of chemotherapy may include hair loss, nausea, and fatigue.

Is mesothelioma contagious?

No, mesothelioma is not contagious. It is caused by exposure to asbestos, which cannot be spread from person to person.

How is mesothelioma staged?

Mesothelioma is staged based on the size and location of the tumor, as well as whether the cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes or other organs.

Can mesothelioma be prevented?

The best way to prevent mesothelioma is to avoid exposure to asbestos. If you work in an industry where asbestos exposure is possible, be sure to take proper safety precautions and wear protective gear.

What is the difference between benign and malignant mesothelioma?

Benign mesothelioma is a non-cancerous growth that develops in the lining of organs. Malignant mesothelioma is a cancerous growth that can spread to other parts of the body.

How is mesothelioma treated in its final stages?

Treatment options for mesothelioma in its final stages may focus on palliative care, which is designed to manage symptoms and improve quality of life. This may include pain management, oxygen therapy, and other forms of supportive care.


Suzanne Schiffman MD is an expert in the treatment of mesothelioma, with a long history of research and innovation in this field. Her contribution to mesothelioma research has improved the lives of countless patients, and her expertise in surgical procedures, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy has given hope to those affected by this devastating disease.

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, it is important to seek out a qualified medical professional like Dr. Schiffman who can provide the best possible care.

Take Action Today

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, take action today. Contact a mesothelioma specialist like Dr. Suzanne Schiffman to explore your treatment options and receive the best possible care. Don’t wait – early detection and treatment can make all the difference.

Closing Disclaimer

This article is not intended to provide medical advice or diagnosis. It is for informational purposes only. If you have questions or concerns about mesothelioma or any other medical condition, please consult with a qualified medical professional.