Lung Cancer

NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital

Lung & Pleural Cancers

Treatment Options

Video-assisted lung cancer surgery

Most of the thoracic surgeries performed at NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital are for lung cancer, so our thoracic surgeons have exceptional experience in this area. Many patients can have lung cancer surgery using a minimally invasive approach called "video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery" (VATS) to remove the affected lobe of the lung. Patients who have VATS typically experience a shorter hospital stay, more rapid improvement of breathing function, and less postoperative discomfort than those who have open surgery.

Robotic lung cancer surgery

Some lung cancer surgeries can be performed using a robotic approach. During the procedure, the surgeon sits at a console, viewing the surgical field through the robot's "vision system." The surgeon uses controls to operate the various arms and cameras of the robot, which are placed into position by surgical assistants. Using the robot, the surgeon can operate with greater magnification of the surgical field and more precision in the use of instruments.

Precision medicine

We analyze your lung tumor for its genetic features to discover your cancer's unique "fingerprint." The information we learn can help us choose therapies that may target the molecules driving the growth of your cancer. This "precision medicine" approach is revolutionizing the care of people with all types of cancer.

The latest chemotherapy drugs

You may receive chemotherapy alone or in combination with other therapies such as radiation and surgery to treat your lung cancer. We give intravenous chemotherapies in our warm, supportive infusion center, where we can monitor your side effects and address your comfort.

Chemotherapy before surgery. Patients with non-small cell lung cancer that has spread to lymph nodes in the chest and who are referred for surgery may benefit from chemotherapy given before surgery, shrinking the tumor and making it easier to remove.

Chemotherapy after surgery. Many patients receive chemotherapy after surgery for lung cancer. Your doctor will let you know if chemotherapy is necessary, and if so, what type is likely to be most effective.

Targeted therapies. If you have lung cancer with certain biological features, you may be able to receive targeted therapy which works by shutting down certain proteins that cancer cells need to grow. Examples include erlotinib, crizotinib, and afatinib — oral medications that you can take by mouth at home.

Immunotherapy. Some patients benefit from treatments that harness the power of the immune system to fight lung cancer, such as the drugs pembrolizumab and nivolumab. We provide immunotherapy for lung cancer in our infusion center and are very experienced in its use.

Precise radiation therapy

Our radiation oncologists use 3D imagery to deliver radiation to lung cancer cells while reducing radiation exposure to nearby healthy tissue. This approach allows us to treat tumors that in the past may have been too close to vital organs. We sometimes use radiation in combination with surgery and/or chemotherapy. Our radiation therapy center features the latest highly precise radiation delivery equipment.