Thoracic Oncology Program

Thoracic Oncology Program

Lung/Esophagael

A long-standing provider of exceptional care, John Muir Health offers one of the most progressive thoracic programs in the East Bay. Our multi-disciplinary team of physicians recognizes that patients with diseases of the chest need highly trained specialist that can diagnosis and treat benign and malignant conditions of the chest and esophagus.

Advanced Treatment Options We Offer

When you refer your patients to the John Muir Health’s Thoracic Program, you can be confident that they will receive the highest-quality care from an expert team of thoracic specialists. Our fellowship trained and board certified thoracic surgeons use the most advanced technology, offering multidisciplinary treatment strategies, and state-of the-art diagnostic and surgical procedures including the latest minimally invasive techniques.

Diagnostic Capabilities

At John Muir Health our physicians not only are able to diagnose using the “gold standard” techniques, and in addition have access to some of the newest capabilities allowing for minimally invasive diagnosis quickly and accurately. This advanced technology allows for minimal recovery time enabling patients to begin prompt, definitive treatment.

  • Electromagnetic Navigation Bronchoscopy (SuperD) extends the reach of the bronchoscope to regions deep within the lung enabling physicians to locate small lung lesions for diagnostic testing and potential treatment.
  • Endobronchial Ultrasound (EBUS) guided fine needle aspiration biopsy of mediastinal nodes offers a less invasive alternative for histologic sampling of the mediastinal nodes.

Minimally invasive surgery - Maximum patient benefit

Our dedicated thoracic surgeons, thoracic physician assistant, nurses and technicians undergo rigorous training and have performed hundreds of laparoscopic, thoracoscopic procedures using state-of-the-art surgical techniques, including:

Minimally invasive thoracoscopic or video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) is frequently used to diagnosis and/or treat benign and malignant lung conditions. The procedure requires three small incisions in the chest. A video camera attached to a fiberoptic thoracoscope is inserted through one of the incisions, enabling visualization of the pleural cavity.

Procedures to treat benign and malignant disease of the chest

  • Pneumonectomy, lobectomy, segementectomy and wedge resections
  • Diaphragmatic plication
  • Lung volume reduction surgery
  • Diaphragmatic pacing
  • Thoracoscopic rib resections
  • Thoraoscopic decortications

Procedures to treat benign and malignant esophageal disease

  • Minimally Invasive Esophagectomy
  • Nissen fundoplication
  • Laparoscopic Heller myotomy
  • Esophageal stent placement

The robotic da Vinci® Si Surgical System offers improved visualization with 3-D high-definition resolution. Precise fingertip control and a 360-degree wrist-like movement allow surgeons to perform even the most delicate and complex procedures with minimal trauma to the patient.

Innovative non-surgical capabilities

In addition to conventional chemotherapy as well as biotherapy, our Thoracic Program offers a variety of other non-surgical treatments. This includes numerous innovative therapies that work to deliver high-dose precision treatment, lessening the risk of damage to surrounding healthy tissue.

  • Photo Dynamic Therapy (Bronchus or Esophagus)
  • Radiofrequency ablation
  • YAG laser

Radiation capabilities

  • 4-D CT scanning allows the radiation oncologist to view the tumor as it moves during respiration
  • Stereotactic body radiation (SBRT)
  • Image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT)
  • BrainLAB ExacTrac® robotics
  • High-dose rate brachytherapy (HDR)
  • Dual-energy linear accelerators
  • Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT)
  • Varian RapidArc® radiotherapy

Why Choose John Muir Health

Our promise to referring physicians

You will be informed and updated with ongoing and timely communication including:

  • Minimal wait times (less than one week, in most cases) for appointments with surgical specialists.
  • Ongoing reports of treatment summaries and post-treatment follow-up care.
  • Open invitations to attend our thoracic multi disciplinary tumor boards.
  • Collaborative planning to help return patients to you on a timely basis for the remainder of their care.
  • Referrals to ancillary services at John Muir Health or within your community, if needed, including smoking cessation information, nutritional counseling, pulmonary rehabilitation, pastoral care and social services.

Thoracic Transfer Center

Patient transfer services at the John Muir Health Regional Transfer Center include a one-call customer service center, operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We assist all parties involved with the transfer of urgent and non-urgent admissions to John Muir Health acute care hospitals. Using an interdisciplinary approach, the primary goal is to streamline the transfer, referral and acceptance process to make it less time consuming, more convenient and most importantly, safer and more efficient for the patient.

Clinical Research

John Muir Health participates in research studies that evaluate new approaches to diagnosing and treating cancer, including testing new devices. John Muir Health participates in studies sponsored by the National Cancer Institute cooperative groups, as well as pharmaceutical and device companies. Our research experience includes studies for prevention, early detection, and treatment of various benign and malignant conditions.

Personalized, comprehensive care every step of the way

Nurse Navigator

Once you refer your patients with thoracic cancer to John Muir Health and they have met with the surgeon, a nurse navigator will contact them. The nurse navigator is a nurse with expertise in thoracic disease that provides ongoing educational and emotional support and will guide your patients through the entire treatment and rehabilitation process, including facilitating their timely return to you. This level of personalized attention to patients’ medical and emotional needs has produced high patient satisfaction and better outcomes.

Education and Support

From prevention to initial diagnosis and treatment, to rehabilitation and survivorship support, John Muir Health provides a fully integrated, comprehensive continuum of care that includes access to patient education and community support, as needed, in the form of:

  • One on one educational setting for patients and their family regarding their specific disease and or planned surgical procedure
  • Nutritional assessments
  • Cancer support groups for patients, as well as their family and caregivers
  • Cancer resource lending libraries
  • Screening for eligibility and enrollment in clinical trials

We know that effective treatment for thoracic disease requires a strong, trusting partnership between you and your patient. When you refer your patients to John Muir Health, you expand that partnership to include a multidisciplinary team that complements your efforts to provide your patients with the highest standard of care. From prevention to diagnosis to treatment and survivorship, we’re here for you and your patients—every day, every step of the way.