Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

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What is Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer?

Non small cell lung cancer is the most common type of lung cancer. Lung cancer prevention is very important because we know some of the causes — prior smoking, passive smoking or radon and other occupational exposures like asbestos, uranium, etc.

The primary types of lung cancer (non small cell) are named for the type of cells found in the cancer:

  • Squamous-cell carcinoma (also called epidermoid carcinoma)
  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Large-cell carcinoma
  • Adenosquamous carcinoma
  • Bronchoalveolar carcinoma
  • Undifferentiated carcinoma
  • Pancoast tumor

At a lung cancer treatment center such as Fox Chase, primary treatment for non-small cell lung cancer depends on the stage of the disease, therefore accurate staging is crucial to determining therapy. Each case is discussed by a multidisciplinary group at the thoracic tumor board meeting.

As a top lung cancer treatment center, Fox Chase is also conducting cutting-edge research with new lung cancer targeted therapies. Targeted therapies use drugs or other substances to identify and attack specific cancer cells without harming normal cells.
» More on Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Treatment Options

Michael Unger, MD, FACP, FCCP, offers patients with lung cancer and other malignancies access to laser therapy (KTP, Nd:YAG), tracheal bronchial stents, ballon dilatation brachytherapy, photodynamic therapy (PDT), pulmonary critical care, low-dose chest CT and screening for lung cancer, and the use of innovative methods to detect cancer and precancerous conditions (screening through LIFE technology). Dr. Unger is actively involved in chemoprevention trials. He works in close cooperation with specialized pulmonology pathologists, Douglas B Flieder, MD and Arthur S Patchefsky, MD.

Earl King, MD, director of pulmonary services, is a nationally recognized leader in perioperative management of lung cancer patients, specifically in critical care areas and in patients with limited lung function.

Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Clinical Trials

Fox Chase Cancer Center is among a select group of lung cancer treatment centers nationwide to offer phase I and phase II trials of chemotherapy and cutting-edge targeted agentsfor all stages of lung cancer. This includes trials for patients who have not responded to "1st line" treatment (also referred to as 2nd and 3rd line therapies.) Through its phase I program, headed by Dr. Tony Olszanski, Fox Chase patients also have access to phase I agents, which are generally given to patients with advanced cancer (including lung cancer) who have run out of standard therapy options.

Palliative Care

Fox Chase palliative care specialists provide a variety of pain management tools for patients with lung cancer. More

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NCI PDQ
See National Cancer Institute information on
Non-Small Cell Cancer