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The Division of Thoracic Surgery at BWH provides professional care for patients with thoracic diseases, under the leadership of Raphael Bueno, MD. The thoracic surgery team performs thousands of surgeries and procedures every year. The division is renowned for its innovative care and leadership in the fields of thoracic oncology, transplantation, and minimally-invasive surgical techniques.  The clinical care remains at the cutting edge of treatment because of the team’s commitment to clinical and basic science research. In the last few decades, basic research studies, clinical trials and scientific discoveries have led the division to revolutionary innovations in the field of thoracic surgery. Research projects include tissue analysis and typing to develop biomarkers for prognosis and diagnosis in cancer, characterization of the tumor genetic structure and function with emphasis on developing new therapies, and investigation of the adaptive processes involved in blood vessel growth (angiogenesis) and lung regeneration. Furthermore, the division is involved in clinical studies such as investigating new devices to aid in treatment, localization and tumor excision, developing new protocols to reduce post-operative stay and promote recovery, and improving patients’ lifestyle and reducing morbidities before and after surgery.


Laboratory of Adaptive and Regenerative Biology (Steven J. Mentzer, MD): This lab focuses on processes fundamental to normal tissue repair and regeneration; the perturbation of these processes is a major contributor to lung disease and lung cancer.

Thoracic Surgery Oncology Laboratory (Raphael Bueno, MD): This lab is dedicated to the development of novel translational tools in genomics that can be used to identify candidate predictive and diagnostic biomarkers, as well as novel targets for therapy, for mesothelioma and lung cancer.

Cardiothoracic Transplant and Advanced Mechanical Therapeutics Laboratory (Hari R. Mallidi, MD, FRCSC): This lab focuses on the investigation of advanced surgical therapeutics for end-stage heart and lung disease.  Studies range from examining the pathophysiology of organ dysfunction during warm ischemia to reporting the outcomes in patients undergoing transplantation or mechanical circulatory support.

Databases and Surgical Outcomes (Michael T. Jaklitsch, MD): This lab uses two major sources of data:  The Prospectively Collected Thoracic Surgery Divisional Database, and available large databases (such as SEER, NCDB, CanCorse, Tricare, NSQIP, and NIS).  The large databases contain hundreds of thousands of individual data entries, but lack full details. These are used to test hypothesis of associations of risk of disease, risk of poor outcomes, and probability of outstanding outcomes. These have been used by our group to explore disparities in health, geographic variations of disease, and disproportionate risks that come with aging. The Divisional Database has data prospectively gathered on a daily basis. This includes tens of thousands of entries, but with greater detail than the large databases. This is used to refine areas of investigation that include reduction in the risk of surgery, improved cure rates from cancer, preoperative preparation of the patient, surgical techniques, organ preservation, and ways to maximize probability of independent living years after surgery. The major interest is lung cancer, including the unique needs of elderly cancer patients and the use of minimally invasive techniques such as video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS).

Swanson Research Laboratory (Scott James Swanson, MD): This lab is focused on better understanding of early stage lung cancer, its biologic fingerprint and clinical behavior covering all aspects of patient care including clinical trials, new targeted cancer treatments, and investigator-initiated protocols to improve technology and outcome associated with surgery. Another key area of focus is video-education with respect to operative procedures.

Partners Tissue and Blood Repository (William G. Richards, PhD): This repository provides specimen acquisition, processing and storage services, and access to archived frozen tissue specimens to the BWH/Massachusetts General Hospital/Dana-Farber Cancer Institute research community.

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