University of Cincinnati Cancer Institute | UCCI

Contact and Appointments: (513) 475-8500

Treatment & Services

Diagnosing Lung Cancer

By gathering precise information and images of your cancer, our experts at the Lung Cancer Center can more accurately diagnose the type and extent of your cancer that will determine the best treatment for you.

In addition to standard imaging techniques, such as CT scans, our Lung Cancer Center offers advanced diagnostic imaging and biopsy tests that help identify suspicious lung nodules and lymph nodes. They are performed by the region’s only board-certified, fellowship-trained interventional pulmonologists. We were the first in the area to offer these techniques:

  • Endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) allows us to take tiny tissue samples from lymph nodes in the chest to determine the type and stage of a lung cancer.
  • Navigational bronchoscopy is a new technique that allows biopsy of nodules in the chest previously not able to be reached with traditional bronchoscopy. A tiny catheter can be directed to a nodule almost anywhere in the lung for biopsy.

Our pulmonary pathologists have expertise in studying lung tissue samples, pinpointing the stage of your cancer and recommending which targeted therapies may be most beneficial for your type of cancer. We offer the latest molecular testing for lung tumors, where tumors are tested for unique gene mutations that make them particularly susceptible to treatment with newer targeted therapies that are more effective than standard treatment.

Treating Lung Cancer

At our Lung Cancer Center, we offer you a coordinated treatment plan that may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy or a combination of these treatments. Our specialists communicate on a regular basis and offer a highly integrated team approach for the management and care of patients with lung cancer.

Our thoracic surgeons specialize in lung and other chest cancers and are the most experienced in the Greater Cincinnati area at performing video-assisted (VATS), minimally invasive lung cancer procedures, including robotic surgery. Because we do these surgeries every day, you can be confident that you are in the hands of our region’s most skilled surgical team for lung cancer.

Studies show that if you have a dedicated, board-certified thoracic surgeon (as compared to a cardiac surgeon or general surgeon) perform your surgery, your risk of complications during and after surgery are lower, and your five-year survival rate is higher.

We offer the most advanced treatments:

Minimally invasive thoracoscopic lobectomy (VATS lobectomy) does not require rib spreading or a major chest incision. Instead, the tumor is removed through several small incisions in the chest wall, allowing for a more rapid recovery and return to normal activities.

Surgery on complex tumors may involve the ribs and blood vessels, as well as lung tissue. We can perform the simplest to most complex surgeries.

UC Health has around-the-clock critical care coverage in our intensive care units, offering unparalleled expertise for our patients before and after surgery.

For more information about surgical procedures for lung cancer, visit the Society of Thoracic Surgeons website.

Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) for early-stage lung cancer can be used if you are not a candidate for surgery or you do not wish to have surgery. Radiation beams can be targeted more precisely from multiple angles to kill cancer cells while minimizing damage to healthy cells.

Chemotherapy includes novel chemotherapy agents not generally available at other cancer treatment facilities in the Greater Cincinnati area. Our thoracic oncologists also offer access to the latest medications available through clinical trials.

Tumor-targeted therapies attack certain types of lung cancer cells that have mutations and abnormal genes. Because these therapies spare healthy cells, they have fewer side effects and may be more effective for certain lung tumors.

Clinical Trials

We offer clinical trials for all stages of lung cancer. Our physicians will talk with you about current trials for which you may be eligible. In addition, we offer you access to the most current therapies available through Phase I clinical trials. We are one of only a handful of centers in the country offering a comprehensive Phase I experimental therapeutics program in which patients have access to treatment with the newest drugs and treatments that are not available elsewhere in the region.

Supportive Services

We offer you several services to help ease your journey through diagnosis and treatment.

UC Health’s Integrative Medicine team works closely with each patient who has lung cancer to provide services such as stress management, massage, yoga and acupuncture/acupressure to lessen the symptoms and side effects of your cancer.

Our oncology dietitian provides counseling to ensure that you get the nutrition you need for optimal health and healing during your cancer treatment.

Our interventional pulmonary program offers help for patients with symptoms from lung cancer. For our patients who are having difficulty breathing from airway blockage, we offer advanced airway interventions not available elsewhere in the region, such as stents and laser therapy to keep airways open.

Prevention and Screening

Lung Cancer Screening Program

In 2011, the National Cancer Institute’s National Lung Cancer Screening Trial – a national, multi-institutional clinical research study – published findings in the New England Journal of Medicine supporting low-dose computed tomography (CT) scans as an effective lung cancer screening tool for patients at high risk for lung cancer. The study showed that patients with a heavy smoking history who were screening with low-dose CT scans versus traditional chest X-rays had a 20 percent decreased chance of dying from lung cancer. This is the f first study to demonstrate that screening for lung cancer is beneficial.

UC Health’s Lung Cancer Screening Program was the first lung cancer screening program in the region and the only one to have a multi-disciplinary team of lung cancer experts that have expertise in lung cancer screening. We have been designated a Screening Center of Excellence by the Lung Cancer Alliance, a leading national organization that advances lung cancer screening and research.

We are also certified for lung cancer screening by the American College of Radiologists.

Call (513) 584-LUNG to find out if you qualify and learn more about our program. Our program has dedicated lung cancer screening nurse coordinators who will determine if you qualify for a screening and guide you through the entire process.

Smoking cessation program

Smoking is a major risk factor for lung cancer.

If you have tried to quit smoking, you know how hard it can be. Our “Win by Quitting” Smoking Cessation Program is designed to help cigarette smokers quit. It is a six-session, pharmacist-run program, supervised by a physician, which makes the process of quitting smoking easier. The program has a quit rate better than 50 percent.

Sessions use both behavior modification techniques and prescription medications, if appropriate. This free program helps you quit over a 12-week period.

To join this free “Win by Quitting” program, call 513-584-QUIT or 513-584-7848.