Diagnosis & Treatment of Lung & Thoracic Cancers

Staging Protocol

At the core of MUSC Health's Lung and Thoracic Cancer Program is our in-depth staging protocol, which determines the stage of the patient's cancer and the optimal treatment.

Diagnostic staging procedures used include:

  • CT and PET scans
  • Endobronchial ultrasound
  • Esophageal ultrasound
  • Thoracoscopy
  • Mediastinoscopy
  • Interventional pulmonology
  • Interventional radiology

For lung cancer patients, staging determines:

  • Tumor size
  • Invasion of surrounding structures
  • Involvement of lymph nodes
  • Spread of the cancer to other sites

For esophageal cancer patients, staging determines:

  • Depth of tumor invasion
  • Involvement of surrounding structures
  • Involvement of regional lymph nodes
  • Spread of the cancer to other sites

Molecular Profiling of Tumors

Personalized therapy with chemotherapeutic and targeted agents based on an individual patient's molecular characteristics.

Radiation Therapy

  • Stereotactic radiosurgery with the TrueBeam STx
  • PET – CT scan fusion for more accurate radiation planning
  • 3D radiation therapy
  • TomoTherapy – a treatment that uses a CT scanner while providing radiation therapy
  • High-dose radiation therapy for early stage tumors in inoperable places
  • Brachytherapy – radioactive seeds are placed to selectively treat the tumor while sparing healthy surrounding tissue

Medical Oncology

Options may include chemotherapy after surgery and targeted therapies for medical treatment of lung cancer.

Minimally Invasive Thoracic Surgery

Minimally invasive surgery is designed 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). MUSC Hollings Cancer Center is one of only a few centers in the Southeast using the VATS technique in a large percentage of cases.

Telemedicine Program

Hollings Cancer Center offers the Virtual Tumor Board, which aims to provide lung cancer consultations and second opinions to other physicians in the region. The patient will receive the benefit of a multi-specialty consultation provided by the Thoracic Cancer Program team, without having to leave their community provider. Information transmitted to and from MUSC is managed through a secure internet connection and referring physicians will have the ability to interact via video feed with the entire thoracic team.