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Cancer Center

Thoracic Cancer Program

Overview

Effective Evaluation & Advanced Care for Thoracic Cancers

Whether you've recently been diagnosed with lung cancer or another thoracic malignancy or referred to our program for a lung nodule assessment, you're probably concerned about what comes next.

At the Thoracic Cancer Program at Tufts Medical Center, care begins with a fast, effective evaluation. Using the latest techniques, our team of experts provides an accurate diagnosis while minimizing additional testing. This means less worrying for you and your family.

Our highly skilled doctors and nurses understand the challenges you face, delivering comprehensive, compassionate treatment for all malignancies of the chest, including:

  • Lung cancer
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Mesotheliomas (tumors in the lining of the lungs)
  • Thymomas (tumors of the thymus gland)
  • Tracheal tumors

We also provide follow-up evaluation in our Lung Nodule Evaluation Center. Lung nodules are abnormalities commonly observed on a CT scan. They may be cancerous or noncancerous, and our experts will give you a diagnosis quickly so that you'll know your treatment options as soon as possible.

What Are My Treatment Options?

Your treatment options depend on your specific disease and how far it has advanced.

Surgery

Surgery is often the first step in treating tumors of the chest, particularly if they are early-stage. Whenever possible, our experienced surgeons use minimally invasive techniques such as video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery to reduce your pain, risk and recovery time.

For early-stage cancers, surgery may be enough to eliminate the tumors. For more advanced cancers within the chest, surgery is often followed by radiation and/or chemotherapy.

Radiosurgery & Radiation Therapy

Patients with early-stage lung cancer who aren't candidates for traditional surgery may receive stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT). This noninvasive treatment uses large doses of precisely focused radiation to kill cancer cells with minimal side effects.

We also use traditional radiation therapy to treat thoracic cancers such as lung cancer, often in combination with surgery.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy and other "targeted" cancer-fighting medications can be used alone or in combination with other therapies. They're often prescribed to reduce tumor size prior to a surgical resection (removing all or a portion of the lung) or to prevent reoccurrence following surgery.

Our doctors use advanced molecular profiling to determine if targeted anti-cancer drugs — which usually have fewer side effects than traditional chemotherapy — are appropriate for you.

Clinical Trials

In addition to the above treatment options, you may have access to some of the most promising clinical trials here and across the country.

The Specialists You Need for the Care You Deserve

Our doctors all have extensive experience treating patients with lung cancer, esophageal cancer and other thoracic cancers. Our team includes thoracic surgeons, medical and radiation oncologists, radiologists, medical and interventional pulmonologists, gastroenterologists and nutritionists as well as experts in pain management and palliative care. Your individualized care team will include the necessary specialists to provide the best possible treatment for your cancer type.

If a recent imaging test has revealed nodules or "spots" on your lungs, our doctors will work closely with the expert team in the Lung Nodule Evaluation Center to provide you with a prompt evaluation. Our assessment will determine the nature of the nodule, the need for further testing and, if necessary, the ideal follow-up plan for your condition.

Doctors + Care Team

Laurence H. Brinckerhoff, MD

Laurence H. Brinckerhoff, MD

Title(s): Surgeon; Associate Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Surgery, General Surgery, Thoracic Surgery
Appt. Phone: 617-636-5589
Fax #: 617-636-9095

Thoracic surgical oncology, minimally invasive surgery, clinical trials, tumor immunology

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Neil J. Halin, DO, FSIR

Neil J. Halin, DO, FSIR

Title(s): Chief, Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiology; Assistant Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Radiology, CardioVascular Center
Appt. Phone: 617-636-3004
Fax #: 617-636-1449

Peripheral vascular disease, biliary and urinary obstruction, thrombo-embolic disease, vascular disease, general radiology

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Kathryn Huber, MD, PhD

Kathryn Huber, MD, PhD

Title(s): Radiation Oncologist; Assistant Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Radiation Oncology
Appt. Phone: 617-636-6161
Fax #: 617-636-6131

Radiotherapy for cancers of the lung and gastrointestinal tract

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John E. Mignano, MD, PhD

John E. Mignano, MD, PhD

Title(s): Radiation Oncologist; Clinic Director; Associate Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Radiation Oncology, Pediatric Radiation Oncology
Appt. Phone: 617-636-6161
Fax #: 617-636-4513

Oncologic consultation for general radiotherapy and Gamma Knife, pediatric radiation oncology

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Lori Pai, MD

Lori Pai, MD

Title(s): Medical Oncologist
Department(s): Medicine, Hematology/Oncology
Appt. Phone: 617-636-6227
Fax #: 617-636-8538

Thoracic oncology, melanoma

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Kari E. Roberts, MD

Kari E. Roberts, MD

Title(s): Director, Bronchoscopy Service; Associate Program Director, Internal Medicine Residency; Associate Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Medicine, Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine
Appt. Phone: 617-636-6377
Fax #: 617-636-1649

General pulmonology, pulmonary hypertension, critical care medicine

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Greg L. Schumaker, MD

Greg L. Schumaker, MD

Title(s): Medical Director, Lowell General Hospital ICU; Director, Rapid Response Team; Director, Clinical Resource Nurse Program; Assistant Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Medicine, Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine
Appt. Phone: 617-636-6377
Fax #: 617-636-1649

Pulmonary diseases, critical care medicine, sleep medicine

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Gary M. Strauss, MD, MPH

Gary M. Strauss, MD, MPH

Title(s): Medical Director, Lung Cancer Program; Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Medicine, Hematology/Oncology
Appt. Phone: 617-636-6227
Fax #: 617-636-8538

Lung cancer, melanoma, breast cancer, genitourinary cancer, solid tumors

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Maher Tabba, MD

Maher Tabba, MD

Title(s): Fellowship Director; Assistant Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Medicine, Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine
Appt. Phone: 617-636-6377
Fax #: 617-636-1649

Interventional pulmonology, thoracic oncology, general pulmonology

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Barbara J. Weinstein, MD

Barbara J. Weinstein, MD

Title(s): Staff Pathologist; Assistant Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Appt. Phone: 617-636-5829
Fax #: 617-636-8302

General surgical pathology, cytopathology, gastrointestinal pathology

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Services & Support

Beyond Diagnosis & Treatment

In the Thoracic Cancer Program, we know a cancer diagnosis can affect every aspect of your life and the lives of your loved ones.

Here, your doctor takes the time to get to know you because we believe individualized treatment means more than prescribing therapies — it means caring for you as a person from the moment you walk through our door.

We pair every patient with a nurse navigator who sets up appointments, follows up on your care and answers any questions you have. Your nurse navigator also connects you and your family with services such as pain management, nutrition counseling and support groups.

Lawrence Brinckerhoff, MD on tuftsmedicalcenter.tv.

Lung Cancer

Laurence Brinckerhoff, MD, Chief of Thoracic Surgery discusses the different stages of lung cancer and how they impact your treatment options.

Watch now

Call Us: 617-636-6227