Pancoast Tumor Treatment Information

A Pancoast tumor is an uncommon lung cancer that originates in the rounded upper part of the lung, also known as the pulmonary apex, and spreads to nearby areas, including ribs, vertebrae, nerves and even blood vessels. Also referred to as superior sulcus tumors, Pancoast tumors account for approximately 3 to 5 percent of all lung cancers.

Our Approach

While many physicians see few, if any, Pancoast tumor cases over the course of their careers, Moffitt Cancer Center’s Thoracic Oncology Program sees many patients with this diagnosis every year. Not only can we recommend the most appropriate treatments for each patient’s unique situation, but we can also deliver these treatments with an unparalleled level of expertise. This helps us provide our patients with the best possible chances of survival, as well as an improved quality of life.

At Moffitt, patients receive their treatments from a multispecialty team of lung cancer professionals. Our patients have access to highly experienced board-certified surgeons, medical oncologists and radiation oncologists, as well as social workers, dietitians and other supportive care providers. Working together as a tumor board, these professionals review each patient’s case and suggest the best possible options for each scenario.

As a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, Moffitt is continuously researching novel treatments for Pancoast tumors and other uncommon lung cancers. We provide an extensive range of treatment options, including:

  • Surgery, including combined thoracic-neurosurgical-vascular operations for invasive Pancoast tumors. To obtain the best chance for cure, the tumor must be removed altogether (en bloc) which requires an experienced team of surgeons.
  • Chemotherapy, including single agents and multi-agent combinations, as well as a unique three-cycle, platinum-based chemotherapy regimen that frequently alleviates or resolves tumor pain within 7 to 10 days
  • Radiation therapy, which we can deliver through several highly targeted delivery methods 
  • Clinical trials, which allow us to make promising experimental therapies available to qualifying patients

We’re proud to provide all of these Pancoast tumor treatments under one roof, making things as streamlined as possible for our patients. There’s no need to coordinate referrals from specialist to specialist; in fact, there’s no need to get a referral to Moffitt. Whether you’re looking for an initial diagnosis, a second opinion or a first, second or third line of treatment, we’re here for you at any point in your journey.

For more information about our Pancoast tumor team, contact us at 1-888-MOFFITT or submit a new patient registration form.

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