Raja Flores, MD, Named Chief of Thoracic Surgery at The Mount Sinai Medical Center

Dr. Raja Flores is the newest member of The Mount Sinai Cancer Center.

 – June 1, 2010 /Press Release/  –– 

Raja M. Flores, MD, a world-renowned surgeon with specialized expertise in mesothelioma, lung cancer, and esophageal cancer, has been named Chief of Thoracic Surgery at The Mount Sinai Medical Center and Director of the Thoracic Surgical Oncology Program at Mount Sinai Cancer Center. His appointments become effective August 1.

"We are excited to welcome Dr. Flores to Mount Sinai," said Dennis S. Charney, MD, Dean of Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs of The Mount Sinai Medical Center. "As an expert in pleural mesothelioma cancer he conducted a landmark study that changed the surgical management of this disease." The study, titled "Extrapleural Pneumonectomy versus Pleurectomy Decortication in the management of malignant pleural mesothelioma," has been one of the most frequently cited studies from the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery for the last two years.

"Dr. Flores joins us at a propitious moment in the history of our cancer program," said Wayne Keathley, President and Chief Operating Officer of The Mount Sinai Hospital. "Dr. Raja will lead an established and talented team of thoracic surgeons and joins a broader coalition of newly recruited physicians and scientists across all areas of cancer research and clinical care. These include leaders in the diagnosis and treatment of esophageal cancer, lung cancer imaging and diagnosis, radiation therapy, and a host of others. We are emerging as a clear leader in caring for patients facing mesothelioma and cancers of the esophagus or lung."

"A technically superb surgeon, Dr. Flores has one of the lowest complication rates with esophagectomy for esophageal cancer in the United States," explained David H. Adams, MD, Marie-Josee and Henry R. Kravis Professor and Chairman of the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at The Mount Sinai Medical Center. "He has also made efforts towards improving treatments for mesothelioma through the compilation of a database of over 1,000 patients in order to research areas of failure."

Dr. Flores helped pioneer the use of intraoperative chemotherapy for this mesothelioma. He has participated in and led a number of major studies including clinical trials of neoadjuvant gemcitabine and cisplatin followed by extrapleural pneumonectomy and high dose radiation and a multicenter trial of neoadjuvant alimta/cisplatin, extrapleural pneumonectomy, and high-dose radiation which is designed to improve outcomes.

He is also a leading international educator on VATS lobectomy, a minimally invasive approach that uses three small incisions in the treatment of lung cancer. He established the current program for this procedure at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, where he previously worked, and he published two sentinel studies establishing its oncological effectiveness by demonstrating equivalent survival and recurrence rates but fewer complications and shorter hospital stays when compared to standard thoracotomy.

An author of over 150 peer-reviewed manuscripts, reviews, books, and book chapters, he has given over 100 lectures worldwide. His work has also been published in many journals, including The Journal of Clinical Oncology, Journal of Thoracic Oncology, The Annals of Surgery, The Annals of Thoracic Surgery and Vascular Surgery.

After earning an undergraduate degree in biochemistry from New York University, Dr. Flores attended the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, receiving his M.D. in 1992. He then spent five years at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center pursuing his General Surgery Internship and General Surgery Residency. Following that, he completed a Thoracic Oncology Clinical Research Fellowship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Dana Faber Cancer Institute/CALGB in Boston, and his Cardiothoracic Surgery Residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School. He also received a Masters in Biostatistics from Columbia University.

Over the past decade, Dr. Flores has held positions at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, most recently as Associate Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery. He belongs to numerous medical and surgical societies and serves on several editorial boards.

About The Mount Sinai Medical Center
The Mount Sinai Medical Center encompasses both The Mount Sinai Hospital and Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Established in 1968, Mount Sinai School of Medicine is one of few medical schools embedded in a hospital in the United States. It has more than 3,400 faculty in 32 departments and 15 institutes, and ranks among the top 20 medical schools both in National Institute of Health funding and by U.S. News & World Report.  The school received the 2009 Spencer Foreman Award for Outstanding Community Service from the Association of American Medical Colleges.

The Mount Sinai Hospital, founded in 1852, is a 1,171-bed tertiary- and quaternary-care teaching facility and one of the nation’s oldest, largest and most-respected voluntary hospitals.  In 2009, U.S. News & World Report ranked The Mount Sinai Hospital among the nation’s top 20 hospitals based on reputation, patient safety, and other patient-care factors.  Nearly 60,000 people were treated at Mount Sinai as inpatients last year, and approximately 530,000 outpatient visits took place.

For more information, visit www.mountsinai.org