Mesothelioma Treatment at RWJ Barnabas Health

RWJ Barnabas Health treats patients who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma along with treating patients with many other health conditions. They have many locations throughout New Jersey with the mission of “advancing innovative strategies in high-quality patient care, education and research to address both the clinical and social determinants of health.” Their vision is to “create and sustain healthy communities together” and they use the acronym “SAFETY” to describe their values. Included in SAFETY is Speak up for Safety, Accurately Communicate, Focus on the Task, Exercise and Accept a Questioning Attitude, Thoughtfully Interact and You and Me Together.

RWJ Barnabas Health believes that those who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma should choose them for cancer treatment because in combination with Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, they have NJ’s only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. Patients are also given the opportunity to be treated by NJ’s largest network of cancer specialists. Patients are also provided with oncology nurse navigators to help them throughout their treatment journey.

Different screenings that may be done and that are available before someone is diagnosed with mesothelioma include a CT scan, an MRI, a PET scan, a tissue biopsy, a bronchoscopy and x-rays. Medical treatments offered through RWJ Barnabas Health include radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, immunotherapy and decortication.

Radiation therapy involves using high energy particles or waves to damage or destroy cancer cells. Brachytherapy is offered, which is when a radioactive source is put directly next to or into a tumor to emit the radiation to a specific target. There are a multitude of other types of radiation therapy that may be utilized, including gamma knife radiation surgery, proton beam therapy, radioembolization or selective internal radiation therapy, stereotactic body radiation therapy, stereotactic radiosurgery and intensity modulated radiation therapy and image guided radiation therapy.

Chemotherapy involves using medicine or drugs to kill cancer cells. Patients may be able to receive chemotherapy in the comfort of their own home. If patients receive chemotherapy at one of the cancer centers, they are provided with televisions, a friendly, supportive staff, relaxing accommodations and additional therapies such as hormonal therapy and biotherapy. There are known side effects of chemotherapy, including fatigue, nausea and hair loss, however oncologists are there to help patients with other medications that can help ease side effects.

Targeted therapy involves using drugs or other substances to find and attack cancer cells. This gives patients an individualized approach to their treatment. Targeted therapy, also known as precision medicine, may include a combination of individualized treatments, such as radiation therapy, immunotherapy, clinical trials, chemotherapy and surgery. Most targeted therapies are offered in clinical trials.

Immunotherapy uses the body’s own immune system to fight cancer. The types of immunotherapies usually used to treat cancer include immune checkpoint inhibitors, t-cell transfer therapy and nonspecific immune stimulation. Immune checkpoint inhibitors block immune checkpoints. T-cell transfer therapy involves removing t-cells from a patient, taking them to a laboratory and changing them so that they can target and kill cancer cells in a better way. After being changed, the t-cells are given to the patient through an IV. Nonspecific immune stimulation is when drugs or other substances are used to make the patient’s immune system respond better in order to kill cancer cells.

Decortication is a surgery in which fibrous tissue that has formed on the surface of the chest wall, lung or diaphragm is removed.

If you or a loved one has mesothelioma and is being treated through RWJ Barnabas Health, call the Halpern Law Firm. We are here to provide you with legal assistance. We have over 30 years of experience and have won over $100 million for our clients. Call us at 800-505-6000 for a free case evaluation today.


Written By Sadie Gold

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