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Lung Cancer Treatment

At the Abramson Cancer Center, your lung cancer team includes medical oncologists, thoracic surgeons, radiation oncologists and nurse practitioners who specialize in lung cancer. They dedicate 100 percent of their time to understanding and improving lung cancer care. Together, they support your needs and guide your treatment.

Lung Cancer Treatment: The Penn Medicine Advantage

Because you are so much more than a diagnosis, we take the time to get to know you and your loved ones. With us, your feelings, lifestyle and goals matter just as much as tumor DNA. And it makes a difference: Our lung cancer outcomes are among the best in the country. Stage by stage, our patients are living longer than ever before.

Our lung cancer program also features:

  • Quality care close to home: Our lung cancer specialists travel so you can receive care at an Abramson Cancer Center location close to home or work. No matter which location you choose, you can expect the same outstanding quality of care that Penn Medicine is known for.
  • Fast access to treatment: Every moment matters when you have lung cancer. Our intake program was designed to get you into treatment fast. We offer same-day appointments, coordinate care so we can make a diagnosis within days and get you into treatment within two weeks.
  • 24/7 support for treatment side effects: Our triage nurses are just a phone call away. They use their training and experience in lung cancer care to understand your symptoms and get you needed treatments fast. Their availability helps you avoid time-consuming emergency room visits and makes treatments safer. Learn more about urgent care for lung cancer treatment side effects.
  • The latest treatments: We offer comprehensive lung cancer treatments, including targeted therapy, immunotherapy and proton therapy (a highly precise radiation therapy). For patients who are no longer responding to conventional therapies, we have clinical trials that they may be eligible to participate in.
  • Personalized care: By analyzing tumor DNA using a simple blood test, we can select the best cancer drugs to target specific genetic mutations in the cancer. We also spend time diagnosing your needs and challenges so we can offer support. We can help with copay issues, transportation assistance and integrative medicine therapies like meditation and massage. Read about our lung cancer support groups and services.

Francie’s Lung Cancer Journey: "If I had gone [anywhere else], they might have missed the second tumor."

How do you kill lung cancer? First, you have to make it glow. Read Francie's story.

Lung Cancer Treatment Options

Our lung cancer specialists develop personalized treatment plans that often include a combination of therapies. Your plan may involve:

Watchful Waiting

Not every abnormality found during a lung cancer screening needs immediate treatment. In our Lung Nodule Surveillance Program:

  1. We monitor lung nodules using advanced imaging technology.
  2. A thoracic radiologist (lung cancer imaging expert) reads these images.
  3. Using evidence-based protocols, we create your surveillance plan and determine the next steps in your care.

Your surveillance plan provides information, such as:

  • When your next imaging study should be
  • What the next steps and treatment options are if anything changes
  • How long the lung nodule needs to be watched if it remains unchanged

Radiation Oncology

Doctors destroy cancer cells using high-energy radiation internally or externally. Learn more about radiation treatment for lung cancer.

Medical Oncology

Medical oncology uses drugs and other agents to hunt and kill cancer cells throughout the body. Medical oncology treatments for lung cancer include:

Lung Cancer Surgery

Thoracic surgeons remove cancers using the least invasive methods possible. Our investigational intraoperative imaging technique makes hard-to-find tumors "glow" and may lead to better outcomes. Read more about lung cancer surgery.

Lung Cancer Clinical Trials

See what's possible in our lung cancer clinical trials. Today's investigative therapies are often tomorrow's cures.

Metastatic Lung Cancer Treatment

Metastatic lung cancer happens when cancer spreads from the lungs to other areas of the body. Care for late stage lung cancer can be challenging, requiring the expertise of specialists who treat affected body areas.

When lung cancer spreads, it typically goes to the:

  • Adrenal glands
  • Bones
  • Brain
  • Liver
  • Lymph nodes

Our lung cancer team collaborates with neurosurgeons, neuro-oncologists and radiation oncologists to create treatment plans for cancer that has metastasized. By sharing expertise, these specialists create treatment plans that are more personalized and comprehensive.

Gamma Knife® Therapy for Brain Metastases

For tumors that have spread to the brain, treatment may involve Gamma Knife® therapy. This advanced radiation treatment destroys brain tumors with pinpoint accuracy — and no incisions. Learn more about Gamma Knife® for cancer.