Cancer Treatment Centers of America

CTCA® Lung Cancer Center in Atlanta

"It is important for a cancer patient to start treatment surrounded by a team of specialists so that the appropriate individualized care can be given."

Your treatment options

Lung cancer is often diagnosed after it has progressed to an advanced stage. That’s why it is important to have a clinical team devoted to treating lung cancer patients, a team with the expertise to tailor a treatment plan specific to your tumor type, stage, genomic markers and other needs. New treatments are constantly being developed in this era of precision, genomic-based cancer care.

At the CTCA Lung Cancer Center in Atlanta, our singular focus enables our oncologists to stay up to date on new and emerging treatments and technologies, allowing us to help you make informed decisions about the options available to treat not just the disease but the side effects that may result. Clinical trials in immunotherapy, cryotherapy and other areas of innovation may be among the options available. Having a team of lung cancer experts collaborating daily, all under one roof, allows us to assemble a detailed treatment plan more quickly and more efficiently.

Our Lung Cancer Center doctors

The oncologists, thoracic surgeons and interventional pulmonologists at the CTCA Lung Cancer Center in Atlanta have combined expertise in delivering standard-of-care and advanced techniques for treating lung cancer. The center is led by fellowship-trained, board-certified Medical Oncologist Dr. Patricia Rich, who began treating lung cancer patients while at the University of South Florida’s H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute. Dr. Rich and her team have extensive experience in immunotherapy and other emerging treatments.

Before joining the team at Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA) at Southeastern Regional Medical Center (Southeastern), Dr. Rabih Bechara, for example, founded and directed the interventional pulmonology program at Emory University School of Medicine. Now the Chief of Interventional Pulmonology, Pulmonary & Critical Care at Southeastern, Dr. Bechara is on the editorial board of Journal of Allergy & Therapy and Current Respiratory Care Reports, and his work has been published in American Journal of Physiology: Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology, American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, and Journal of Bronchology.  Dr. Daniel Miller, General Thoracic Surgeon on the center's team, is a world-renowned leader in thoracic surgery who helped introduce minimally invasive techniques for thoracic diseases as well as new technology and interventions such as Hyperthermic Pleural Lavage for primary and metastatic pleural disease. And Medical Oncologist Dr. Ioana Bonta completed three fellowships, has published several papers and holds two patents on medical research.

Other members of our Lung Cancer Center team include an interventional pulmonologist, interventional radiologists, a radiation oncologist, an intensive care physician and a pathologist. Explore the menu below to learn more about our doctors:

A comprehensive team approach

The oncologists, surgeons and other doctors at the Lung Cancer Center are part of a wider team of multidisciplinary cancer experts who work together, collaborating daily with the patient and one another, all under one roof. Theirs is a synergy that comes from combining years of expertise and varied skills toward a single cause—treating lung cancer patients. Each patient’s Lung Cancer Center care team is led by a medical oncologist and coordinated by a care manager devoted to the many details needed to help patients achieve their treatment goals and maintain their quality of life. Our lung cancer pathologists also play a key role in diagnosing and staging the disease, to better pinpoint the treatment options available.

Various other doctors and clinicians may be assigned to your care team to help you meet your treatment goals and manage lung cancer-related side effects. For example, depending on your lung cancer type, stage and recommended treatment plan, your care team may include surgical and/or radiation oncologists, interventional pulmonologists, oncology nurses and a host of supportive care clinicians, all joining together to craft a personalized care plan with a commitment to comprehensive care. To help you maintain your strength and stamina during treatment, your care team may recommend a number of evidence-informed supportive therapies, including nutritional advice, chiropractic care, acupuncture, psychological counseling, physical therapy and spiritual support. A nurse practitioner trained in smoking cessation techniques is also available to offer strategies for quitting tobacco for those who request it. This whole-person focus is at the heart of the center’s dedication to comprehensive, personalized care.

Quality of life

Conventional treatments plus supportive therapies

Lung cancer patients often experience treatment-related side effects including fatigue, appetite loss, pain, nausea or neuropathy. To help you manage those side effects and maintain your strength and stamina throughout treatment, your team of cancer experts may include various integrative care experts, including a dietitian, naturopathic provider, physical therapist, chiropractor, mind-body therapist, spiritual counselor and more.

Learn more about how integrative cancer treatment may help you manage your lung cancer journey.

Lung cancer clinical trials

Our Lung Cancer Center in Atlanta is dedicated to offering innovative, leading-edge treatment options. One way to do that is by offering carefully selected lung cancer clinical trials in areas like immunotherapy, interventional pulmonology and chemotherapy. Clinical trials are an essential testing ground for measuring the effectiveness of drugs and other treatments before they can win FDA approval. Trials may offer participants new options that would otherwise be unavailable to them. See our Clinical Trials Q&A to learn more. Find out about the various lung cancer trials underway at CTCA.

Clinical trials Q & A

Are they only available to patients who have exhausted other lung cancer treatment options?

Lung cancer patients may qualify to participate in a clinical trial at any stage of their treatment journey. Some patients may join a clinical trial when they first start treatment, in conjunction with standard therapy, on the chance it may offer improved outcomes. Other trials are designed for lung cancer patients who have not responded adequately to conventional treatments. Your Lung Center oncologist will discuss the options and risks, and explain the various protocols involved.

How does CTCA select the trials it offers?

At CTCA, our Lung Center experts never stop searching for innovative ways to treat lung cancer. Offering carefully selected clinical trials helps us fulfill that mission. The new generation of precision drugs is generally designed to deliver more targeted, less toxic therapies. Our Lung Center oncologists decide to participate as a clinical trial site only after careful consideration of the relative benefit to patients.

Who may benefit from lung cancer clinical trials?

The answer is based on a case-by-case analysis of each lung cancer patient. This is a time of rapid scientific advances in lung cancer treatment. New surgical techniques are being developed with a goal of attacking lung tumors while reducing the amount of trauma to healthy tissue. Meanwhile, a new generation of lung cancer therapies is designed to attack tumors that have specific genomic mutations. These new targeted treatments may be more effective and cause fewer side effects than traditional chemotherapy. But they are so specialized that only a limited subset of lung cancer patients qualifies for participation. The immunotherapy drug nivolumab, for example, is approved for patients with non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer who have already tried platinum-based chemotherapy or EGFR - or ALK-targeted agents. Genomic tumor testing may determine whether you are a candidate. Other factors - such as your cancer mutations and stage, how you have responded to past treatments and other individual considerations - may also determine whether you qualify for specific trials.

How do I find out whether a specific clinical trial may benefit me?

Your Lung Center oncologist and care team may recommend a trial depending on your individual needs and treatment goals. Learn more about ongoing clinical trials at CTCA. For general questions, email the clinical trials team at clinicaltrials@ctca-hope.com or contact an Oncology Information Specialist at 888-841-9129.

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