Lung Cancer Therapy


Lung cancer is cancer that develops in tissues of the lungs, most commonly in the cells that line the bronchi, or air passages. For both men and women, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths. There are three main types of lung cancer: non-small cell lung cancer, which is the most common, and small cell lung cancer.

Lung cancer therapy depends on the type of lung cancer. Surgical options include:

  • Segmental or wedge resection: removal of a small section of the lung
  • Lobectomy: removal of an entire lobe of the lung
  • Pneumonectomy: removal of an entire lung
  • Sleeve resection: removal of a section of the bronchus followed by reattachment of the remaining part of the bronchus

Radiation therapy may be used as part of lung cancer therapy to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. External radiation uses a machine outside the body to target the tumor, while internal radiation uses a radioactive substance that is swallowed, injected or implanted near the tumor. Chemotherapy drugs may also be used as part of lung cancer therapy to kill cancer cells or interfere with their ability to divide and grow.

Innovative new lung cancer therapy options have been developed, including:

  • Cryoablation and radiofrequency ablation: new image-guided approaches that use heat or cold to destroy lung cancer tumors
  • Stereotactic radiotherapy: an advanced radiation technique that studies have shown can be effective for inoperable tumors
  • Photodynamic therapy: a lung cancer therapy in which photosensitizing chemicals injected into the bloodstream collect in cancerous cells and can later be used to direct a laser at the cancer
  • Targeted therapy: involves new medications that block the growth of the blood vessels that feed lung cancer tumors

For patients seeking surgery for lung cancer, Brigham and Women's Hospital delivers state-of-the-art lung cancer treatment. We also provide surgery for mesothelioma and other cancers of organs in the chest wall.

Learn more about lung cancer therapy at Brigham and Women's Hospital.

Lung cancer therapy at Brigham and Women's Hospital

Brigham and Women's Hospital provides the highest levels of surgical care and innovative treatment options to patients. Our leading lung cancer therapy specialists offer personalized cancer surgery, state-of-the-art surgical techniques and a broad range of support services. Brigham and Women's Hospital provides lung cancer therapy designed to increase the chances of survival and improve the quality of life for lung cancer patients.

Specialized therapy for women with advanced lung cancer

The Women's Lung Cancer Program at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Dana-Farber Brigham Cancer Center is dedicated to providing care for women with advanced lung cancer. The Program offers a wide range of support services, including a forum for women with lung cancer, nutritional services, and post-operative services for patients undergoing surgery as part of their lung cancer therapy. The Program's research team strives to develop better ways to stage lung cancer and prevent it from recurring.

In addition, Brigham and Women's Hospital is one of the world's leading institutions for research and therapy for women with cancer, including lung cancer therapy. For women with breast and gynecologic cancers, we provide comprehensive care, including breast cancer therapy options, such as lumpectomy, as well as endometrial, cervical and ovarian cancer treatment.

Learn more about Brigham and Women's Hospital

For over a century, a leader in patient care, medical education and research, with expertise in virtually every specialty of medicine and surgery.

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