Free Mesothelioma Information Packet

Arthur T. Skarin M.D.

  • Associate Professor of Medicine
  • Harvard University School of Medicine, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
  • 617-632-3468

Dr. Arthur T. Skarin is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. At the Harvard Medical School Skarin works in the Medical Oncology and Solid Tumor Oncology departments and focuses on thoracic cancer. His Medical Degree is from the State University of New York at Buffalo, where he graduated in 1961. After graduation he continued his training in internal medicine at the Millard Fillmore Teaching Hospital located in Buffalo. Dr. Skarin then completed a fellowship in hematology and oncology at Boston City Hospital. From there he joined the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in 1970. While there he was a clinical director of the Hematology Laboratory from 1970 to 1998 and Medical Director from 1975 to 2006.

Dr. Skarin’s work has led him to approach mesothelioma in different ways to test how it can be diagnosed and treated more effectively. Through a systemic approach he, and others, use positron emission tomography combined with CT scanning to detect a decrease in metabolic activity in the tumor, which can help in treating the cancer more effectively. He has also approached mesothelioma with the use of the drugs pemetrexed and gembicitabine combined rather than using pemetrexed only or cisplatin in combination with an anti-folate. However, the findings for this study showed that this treatment was just as effective as using pemetrexed only and not as effective as using cisplatin with an anti-folate. Dr. Skarin also approaches mesothelioma with surgical management such as thoracoscopy, pleurodesis, pleurectomy, and extra pleural pneumonectomy. Thoracoscopy can help with earlier diagnosis, which is key in fighting any cancer. Pleurodesis would manage the symptoms from pleural effusions directly and pleurectomy or extrapleural pneumonectomy would try to treat the primary tumor. However, while these surgical treatments may help in fighting mesothelioma, there is no surgical cure, yet.

References:
  • Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Physician Profile.

Last modified: December 24, 2010.