Our thoracic oncology program brings together all appropriate specialists and sub-specialists into one highly coordinated and collaborative team for each patient. This multidisciplinary approach streamlines every phase of care: diagnosis, planning and treatment. Often in just a day, patients receive individualized attention from several specialists and complete the diagnostic procedures needed for a confident assessment of type and stage. Then, working together, our team reviews the data and develops the best possible treatment options for discussion with patients and their caregivers.
At the core of MUSC's Thoracic Cancer program is our in-depth staging protocol, which determines the stage of the patient's cancer and the optimal treatment. Treatment options include the following:
- Innovative Radiation Oncology, including PET-CT scan fusion for more accurate radiation planning; 3D radiation therapy; tomotherapy, a new treatment that uses a CT scanner while receiving radiation therapy; a high-dose radiation therapy for early stage tumors in inoperable places.
- Medical Oncology, such as chemotherapy after surgery and targeted therapies for medical treatment of lung cancer.
- Minimally Invasive Thoracic Surgery to reduce tissue damage and post-surgical pain while promoting a faster recovery. Included in our minimally invasive surgery techniques is video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS), where a small telescope, called a thorascope, and specially designed instruments are used to accomplish through small incisions the same operation that would be done by breaking the ribs and making a much larger incision. Hollings Cancer Center is one of only a few centers in the Southeast using the VATS technique in a large percentage of cases.
- Laser Bronchoscopy - a minimally invasive procedure using a flexible tube, or bronchoscope, in the airways and a laser to destroy cancerous cells.
- Brachytherapy - using a bronchoscope, radioactive seeds are placed to selectively treat the tumor while sparing healthy surrounding tissue.
- Traditional Surgical Procedures
- Telemedicine Program - Remote Expert Assessment of Lung Cancer (REAL Cancer)