The Latest Information About Lung Cancer Treatment at Memorial Sloan Kettering

Memorial Sloan Kettering physicians offer a breadth of expertise in lung cancer that is unmatched by most other hospitals.

Memorial Sloan Kettering physicians offer a breadth of expertise in lung cancer that is unmatched by most other hospitals.

Every person who comes to Memorial Sloan Kettering for lung cancer treatment receives care from a multidisciplinary team of experts who focus exclusively on cancers of the chest and ensure you receive the combination of therapies that will give you the best chance of success.

Lung cancer is not just one disease but a complex collection of diverse types grouped into two categories: small cell lung cancer and non-small cell lung cancer. Each arises from different cells in the lung, grows and spreads in different ways, and requires different treatments.

Accurate diagnosis and staging are critical to an effective treatment plan. And because certain treatments are more effective than others against tumors with particular mutations, molecular analysis of individual tumors can help determine which therapy will be most beneficial. Memorial Sloan Kettering was among the first centers to apply this new approach to cancer treatment, and we are currently one of just a handful of hospitals in the world to offer this type of personalized medicine.

Our newly updated guide describes aspects of this tailored approach as well the breadth of our expertise: we offer a sophisticated lung cancer screening program and diagnose and treat more people with lung cancer than most other hospitals nationwide.

For example, our team of thoracic surgeons, among the most experienced in the US, performs more than 1,200 operations for lung cancer each year — and has one of the nation’s lowest post-operative complication rates. Whenever possible, we use minimally invasive procedures such as video-assisted thoracic surgery and robotic surgery.

Similarly, our medical oncologists use the most innovative drug approaches in treating people with both categories of lung cancer. These include targeted therapies and treatments that stimulate patients’ own immune systems to recognize and attack lung cancer. We also have the ability to deliver powerful doses of radiation directly to tumors with exquisite precision, minimizing the amount of radiation to surrounding healthy tissue and decreasing the risk of side effects.

Access to Cutting-Edge Treatments and Compassionate Care

By choosing Memorial Sloan Kettering, you may gain access to new treatments that are not widely available elsewhere, as well as additional options if your cancer has returned after standard therapy. You may wish to discuss clinical trial options with your doctor.

Knowing your level of lung cancer risk can help you and your doctor make decisions about your healthcare, including whether to get screened for lung cancer. Our experts have developed a risk assessment tool that considers various factors and predicts how likely you are to develop lung cancer.

Our unique Lung Cancer Survivorship Program provides follow-up care to monitor for signs of recurrence and help you and your loved ones address the physical, psychological, and emotional effects that can arise as a result of treatment.


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How soon do you expect to be able to expand this to other cancers? Can different cancers (for example lung and pancreatic cancers) have the same genetic mutations but just in different parts of the body?

How cooperative are the major cancer centers about sharing what they learn from research?

Thank you for your efforts.

Thank you for your nice comment, Mary. Here at MSK doctors use molecular testing to guide treatment of patients with many types of cancer, and you are correct in saying that the same mutation can be found in different cancers. Researchers at different institutions share data through collaborations, meetings and publications.

Please discuss and advise your thoughts of the relatively new Clovis clinical trial re (CO1686) pertaining to NSCLC/EGFR/T790M mutation. Has it been effective in the treatment on those patients with a positive T790M mutation and negative T790M mutation? Side effects compared to Tarceva? Any concern with increased glucose levels by taking CO1686? Established doses? Thank you!

Cris, if you have questions about this study, we recommend that you reach out to Clovis Oncology. Thank you for your comment.

hello...i m dr.paramdeep sachdeva........i m IMG with green card holder.....
i m interested in clerkship in reputed mskcc in next year.
what is the procedure to apply in advance.
whats the cost for applying??
and if there is any free spots avaliable there??
i shall be thankful for ur reply!!
thanking you

I have had two lung cancer surgeries, 4 years apart, at MSKCC. While I have a genetic mutation indicating repeated lung cancer possibilities, I feel very fortunate to have had the staff at MSKCC, in my case led by Dr Valerie Rusch, at the helm. I currently feel wonderful and look forward to continuing in the survivorship program where I've been enrolled since 2009. I'm sure I wouldn't be alive without Dr Rusch and MSKCC! Thank you!

Susan, we’re glad to hear you’re feeling well. Thank you for sharing your story!


Dear Sal, we are in fact planning a study that will evaluate CO1686 in people with lung cancer. The trial is currently being reviewed by our Internal Review Board.

You may search our clinical trials database for trials that are currently open by visiting:

Thank you for your comment.

Our daughter was treated at MSK from 2012-2013. She had stage 4 non small cell of her lungs. Chemo shrunk the tumor. Surgery for removal of remaining tumor was not recommended. She qualified for gene therapy with a drug. Response was good. However after 3 months drug stopped working. While awaiting further biopsy, her oxygen level dropped dramatically. Hospitalization for 6 days could not alleviate the problem. She died 1 year, 2 days from diagnosis. I am just now digesting everything. I would like to read Dr's report on her final days. How can I accomplish this?

Thanking you in advance

Mary, we suggest you contact an MSK patient representative at 212-639-7202 to explain the information you are seeking and discuss this in more detail.

My tumor in the lower right lung lobe has metastasized into two lymph nodes in my chest,one close to my esophagus. Would you consider surgical removal?

Nice blog! really necessary information about lung cancer.

Is there any research presently been done in bone cancer such as chondrosarcoma? Is there any support groups for survivors of bone cancer? We already know that chemo and radiation does not work but any new developments?

Wanda, you can learn more about MSK’s treatment of bone cancer, including chondrosarcoma, by going to We don’t have any upcoming support groups specifically for bone cancer on our schedule, but you might want go to Connections, our online community for cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers, and inquire about whether there are other patients in the group who have been treated for bone cancer. You can go to… to learn more, including how to register. Thank you for your comment.