Skip to Content

Lung/Thoracic Cancer

Screening and Diagnosis | Personalized Treatment | Research and Clinical Trials | Additional Patient Support

NorthShore’s Thoracic Oncology Program (TOP) offers the most advanced care for patients with lung cancer and other thoracic malignancies.

The experienced, collaborative team of specialists at NorthShore Kellogg Cancer Center combines the most advanced scientific knowledge and technology with a comprehensive and compassionate approach to care, creating a program of personalized lung cancer treatment and patient-centered care for each individual diagnosed with lung cancer.

Drawing from the diverse experience of physicians, surgeons, nurses, researchers and a host of other highly trained healthcare professionals, the Kellogg Cancer Center team works collaboratively and is dedicated to putting patients—and families—at the center of a healthcare experience that delivers compassionate, quality care.

Patients who are newly diagnosed with lung cancer have the added support of a specialized oncology nurse navigator to guide them through their lung cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Lung Cancer Screening and Diagnosis

NorthShore’s emphasis on early detection allows our experienced team of specialists to diagnose a greater proportion of early stage lung cancer cases, which are more likely to be treated with minimally invasive techniques leading to improved outcomes.

An active participant in the International Early Lung Cancer Action Project (I-ELCAP)  for more than a decade, NorthShore has been an early advocate for appropriate CT scan, a type of lung cancer screening for high-risk patients. The use of CT scans for people at high risk for developing lung cancer has been linked to a dramatic 20 percent reduction in lung cancer deaths.

NorthShore offers screening with low-dose computed tomography (CT) for people at high risk for lung cancer, the only recommended screening test for the disease.  Medicare and many insurance companies now cover this diagnostic lung cancer screening for patients who meet certain criteria.

NorthShore's expert pathology department ensures that a majority of lung cancer screenings, tests and novel diagnostics are completed in house, providing swift results and thus beginning life-saving lung cancer treatment as early as possible. 

Personalized Lung Cancer Treatment

Lung cancer treatment options are rapidly evolving, and NorthShore Kellogg Cancer Center is on the leading edge of care, using the latest molecular diagnostics to determine genetic profiles of individual tumors and develop personalized treatment plans for each patient. Our thoracic surgeons are renowned for performing video assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) lobectomy, which is also referred to as minimally invasive surgery. VATS is performed through two to three small incisions on the chest, avoiding a larger incision and rib spreading. The procedure provides many advantages over the traditional open approach, including:

  • Reduced pain after surgery
  • Better quality of life
  • Faster recovery and return to normal function

Among the most promising developments in cancer treatment in recent years is immunotherapy. For decades, researchers have been trying to understand why the body’s immune system does not see cancer cells as foreign and attack them. Unlike chemotherapy, which attacks cancer cells, immunotherapy targets the patient’s immune system, spurring the body’s own immune function to unleash an attack on the disease. NorthShore has been an early adopter of immunotherapy, offering progressive treatment options to our patients and supporting ongoing clinical trials and research to further advance this revolutionary field.

We have seen success in both halting the spread of disease and in some cases shrinking or even completely eliminating tumors with immunotherapy.

While not all patients respond positively to immunotherapy, we are encouraged by many remarkable cases. Our collaborative team of clinicians—in partnership with our experts in genomics, medical genetics, pathology, research informatics and more—are working together to find effective treatments for all cancer patients.

Every week, our multidisciplinary team meets in a a multidisciplinary conference to discuss each patient’s case in detail and to design a personalized treatment plan. For lung cancer, your team may include your medical oncologistsurgeonradiation oncologist, oncology nurse, geneticist, pathologist, nutritionist, pharmacist, interventional radiologist, social worker and researchers, all focused on you. This "meeting of the minds" provides critical input, resulting in an individualized care plan outlining the best course of action and lung cancer treatment option for each patient.

Patients are at the center of this multidisciplinary team, and Kellogg staff arrange for them to be seen by their multidisciplinary specialists at one appointment, not only for their convenience but to provide a consensus on their course of lung cancer treatment. Our use of one of the most advanced Electronic Medical Record (EMR) systems in the country enhances our open communication and promotes collaboration in patient care.

Research and Clinical Trials

A vital research enterprise allows Kellogg patients access to the latest drugs and lung cancer treatment options, as well as a wide array of clinical trials, both at NorthShore and through the University of Chicago, where more than 800 of our attending physicians hold academic appointments. Kellogg Cancer Center’s experts in lung cancer are active participants and leaders in regional and national research, academic and advocacy organizations.

NorthShore’s nationally recognized Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system offers a data warehouse and tumor bank that enables physicians and researchers to integrate molecular and genomics data with clinical data to determine a patient’s best course of lung cancer treatment. This information—specific to each patient—helps create an individually tailored treatment plan based on the patient’s genetic makeup and type of cancer. Ongoing studies leverage our advanced EMR system and informatics expertise.

NorthShore is the first in the nation to provide our patients and their family members with Health Heritage, a secure tool that helps individuals create a complete family health history and personalized risk reports.

Additional Patient Support

Kellogg Cancer Center’s unique services and resources assist patients and family members with a variety of challenges they may face from lung cancer diagnosis, treatment and beyond. A wide array of support services are available to patients that include our integrative medicine services, financial advocacy and survivorship, to name a few.

The Kellogg Cancer Center also offers a comprehensive tobacco cessation program for patients and their families.

For More Information

For more information on lung cancer screening, diagnosis and treatment or to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists, please call 847.570.2112.