Lung Cancer Treatment

Herzliya Medical Center, Israel’s leading private hospital is home to world-renowned health care specialists. With cutting-edge treatments uniquely personalized and tailored for each patient, Herzliya Medical Center achieves remarkable results in all stages of lung cancer.

There have recently been great advances that increase the life expectancy of lung cancer patients and significantly improve their quality of life. HMC is renowned for its cutting-edge first-class medical equipment. HMC continuously invests in medical technology and equipment in order to maintain the highest standards of treatment and care.

What is Lung Cancer?

Lung cancer is prominent in older men and women (from 65 years of age), and is the second most common of cancers.

Lung cancer is the abnormal growth of cells within the lung/s that affect and restrict the normal functioning of the lungs to provide oxygen to body tissues via the blood. People with other forms of cancer (elsewhere in their body) have the risk of developing lung cancer because of metastasis (cancer spread), called secondary lung cancer.

Primary lung cancer can develop within any part of the lung, but it mostly occurs within the epithelial cells that line the bronchi and bronchioles, for this reason lung cancer is also referred to as bronchogenic carcinoma.

There are two main types of lung cancer:

  • Small cell lung cancers (SCLC)
  • Non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLC) – most common type of lung cancer and with subtypes

Other types of lung cancer exist, like carcinoid tumors, for example, which require surgical treatment.

Smoking is the main cause of lung cancer, (prolonged) exposure to radon and other carcinogenic (cancer-causing) chemicals and minerals such as arsenic. Asbestos fibers are the leading cause of lung cancer and mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a cancer of the pleura (lining of the lungs), although this type of cancer is not considered a type of lung cancer as it develops outside of the lungs.

Lung Cancer Symptoms

Signs or symptoms in the majority of lung cancers are usually not observed in the early stages. Usually symptoms are presented in later stages of lung cancer; however, some individuals may have symptoms. These include:

  • Persistent cough or breathlessness
  • Unexplained weight loss or tiredness
  • Chest pain breathing, laughing or coughing
  • Coughing up blood or rust-color phlegm
  • Recurrent bouts of bronchitis or pneumonia

Later stage symptoms (signs of metastasis) include:

  • Bone pain
  • Numbness or dizziness
  • Swelling of the neck or face
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin)

Some of the above-mentioned symptoms possibly relate to other conditions, but it is important to consult with a specialist, as early detection of lung cancer is critical to achieving an optimum prognosis.

Lung Cancer Diagnosis

Diagnosis at a Molecular Level

As a rule, in cases of suspected lung cancer, tissue diagnosis is mandatory. An expert pathologist, using advanced techniques and special stains, evaluates the obtained tissue. Depending on the type of tumor, further tests are performed to identify genetic mutations that might influence treatment choices, including possible biologic treatments. This is necessary because up to 30% of patients with lung cancer harbor a variety of mutations. Currently, the most common mutations are in the following genes: EGFR, ALK, HER2, CMET, BRAF, RET, ROS1, and KRAS.

Depending on the initial results, further investigation of tumors for other mutations using third generation sequencing may be offered.

Accurate diagnosis is critical for tailoring the most effective treatment for each patient. The following diagnostics apply according to the type and stage of lung cancer:

  • Review of all previous medical records, lab results, pathology and images
  • Consultation with a senior pulmonology oncologist
  • Additional required tests and imaging, if recommended by the specialist
  • Laboratory tests, including tumor markers
  • If indicated - Next Generation Sequencing of tumor cells
  • Low dose chest CT scan and/or PET-CT
  • In Stage II lung cancer or advanced lung cancer - a brain CT
  • Further tissue sampling (through bronchoscopy, CT-guided biopsy or other), if requested by the specialist

Lung Cancer Treatment

Every patient’s case and tumor are unique. Specialists at HMC strictly treat each case individually and are continuously following any developments within treatment of lung cancer. Treatments vary for different types of lung cancer, depending on the stage of the disease at diagnosis.

Treatment that involves biological therapy of lung cancer is highly promising and innovative. While therapies aimed at specifically targeting the tumor-  targeted therapy is used singularly or conmbining other types of treatment. 

If the cancer is diagnosed at an early stage (no metastasis), then surgery followed by observation might be the choice of the treatment. It is crucial that two specialists are involved in this process - an experienced surgeon and a pulmonology oncologist.

In later stage cases, chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy may be required, after the careful planning of a specialist. The final treatment plan includes advanced methods of genetic and molecular analysis of the tumor, in order to determine sensitivity to anti cancerous drugs (chemical or biological).

If brain metastases are detected, depending on their size and location, therapeutic radiation with stereotactic radio-surgery (SRS) or a preventive brain irradiation – whole brain radiation therapy (WBRT) might be assigned.

HMC: Leading Lung Cancer Specialists

Leading the way in patient recovery, HMC proudly host the excellent expertise of renowned specialists in lung cancer, patients can be guaranteed that they are receiving the optimum chances of curing lung cancer.

HMC’s Professor Nir Peled, a leading oncologist in lung cancer treatment and pulmonologist. Professor Peled is the Chairman of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) and is committed to ensuring that patients receive the latest and best treatment available - tailored specifically for them.

Personalized medicine is a revolution in the understanding of the development of cancer at the molecular level and you can enjoy this first-class approach at Herzliya Medical Center. HMC specialists strive to achieve a positive outlook for all patients. Early detection of lung cancer is key to a good (and significantly improved) prognosis than late detection; it is highly recommended that you consult a specialist should you have any concerning symptoms.

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