Thoracic and Lung Cancer

At Penn State Cancer Institute, the lung cancer/thoracic oncology team of medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, thoracic surgeons, pulmonologists, and radiologists focuses specifically on malignant lung tumors. We deliver an efficient, closely coordinated effort to define, stage, and treat this disease. An efficient, closely coordinated effort is used to define and treat lung cancer. Our multidisciplinary team approach ensures that treatment plans reflect the combined expertise of many highly experienced specialists involved in the care of patients with both primary lung cancers (those that originate in the lungs, also referred to as non-small cell and small cell cancers) and secondary lung cancers (those that spread to the lung or that recur). This team meets regularly to review clinical cases, formulate treatment plans, review protocols and accruals, and discuss therapy.

As a major medical center and academic institution, our team has access to a wide variety of medical and surgical resources and support services to ensure high-quality patient care. The Cancer Institute offers patients the opportunity to participate in clinical trials of innovative therapies which may become the future standard of care. As part of the multidisciplinary approach, a variety of support services are offered to help patients and families cope with cancer.

Treatment ultimately depends on the type, stage, and molecular profile of lung cancer. It's not uncommon to receive more than one type of treatment. The collaborative team is at the forefront of lung cancer treatment delivering the most effective and advanced treatment options to help improve survival and quality of life for patients including:

  • minimally invasive thoracic surgery, including video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) or robotic surgery
  • advanced interventional pulmonology for diagnosis, staging, and treatment, such as endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS), navigational bronchoscopy, airway stenting, endobronchial tumor ablation, and tunneled intrapleural catheters
  • innovative radiotherapy and stereotactic radiosurgery
  • chemotherapy, targeted therapy, and personalized treatment approaches