Lung Cancer & Other Thoracic and Related Cancers
Our world-renowned, multidisciplinary team specializes in treating the two main types of lung cancer:
- Non-small cell lung cancer, including squamous cell carcinoma, large cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma
- Small cell lung cancer
We are also experts in treating other cancers of the respiratory system and related cancers, including:
- Malignant mesothelioma
- Thymoma and thymic carcinoma
- Small cell cancer in other body sites
- Chest sarcomas
- Pulmonary carcinoid tumors
- Other rare thoracic cancers
The region's only NCI-designated center
At University of Colorado Hospital and the University of Colorado Cancer Center, you’ll find the leading lung and thoracic cancer specialists in the Rocky Mountain region. We’re also one of only 40 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the United States.
That’s why our 5-year survival rates for lung cancer are up to four times higher than state and national averages.
A Nonsmoker Gets Lung Cancer Treatment at CU Cancer Center
Bob, a nonsmoker his whole life, was stunned to find out he had a cancerous tumor on his right lung. For his treatment he chose the lung cancer program at the University of Colorado Cancer Center where 1-year survival rates for advanced lung cancer run twice as high as the national average, and 5-year rates nearly four times as high.
Learn more about your thoracic oncology team
Get a Second Opinion or Remote Second Opinion From Our Team
The University of Colorado Cancer Center is a nationally recognized center for second opinions regarding all aspects of lung cancer and other thoracic cancers.
"When we came to Dr. Camidge for a second opinion, he helped us through a difficult explanation of my rare cancer. He was a wonderful light in my darkness."
A medical oncology doctor who specializes only in lung and thoracic cancers will meet with you to discuss your case and review your test results. The medical oncologist will then meet with a group of other doctors (our multidisciplinary care team), who have additional areas of expertise. They will review your case during their weekly Thoracic Tumor Board meeting to determine the best treatment.
To schedule your second opinion consultation, contact Jaylee Santee or Bethie Jean-Philippe at (720) 848-0300.
If you do not receive a response within one business day, please call Carolyn Lambert, Care Team Specialist, at (720) 848-2221.
What to Bring to Your Appointment
Our second opinions are based on our review of all available information, including comprehensively re-reviewing all scans and tests.
Please bring all medical records dating back to your diagnosis to your second opinion appointment. Ideally, these should also include your scans on CDs and the actual tumor specimen on microscope slides. The doctors who have looked after you already should be able to provide these for you.
Our Remote Second Opinion program
If you would like a second opinion from our team but cannot immediately come in for an appointment, please read about our Remote Second Opinion program.
Comprehensive Lung Cancer Care
Just as important as finding the best team of physicians, nurses and staff is finding a team of people who know that cancer is more than a physical disease, and are committed to treating each patient as a whole person.
At the CU Cancer Center, the same caring team of doctors and support professionals will be with you throughout your entire journey.
- Your team is made up of experts from many fields who specialize in thoracic oncology: thoracic surgeons, medical and radiation oncologists, pulmonologists, pathologists, radiologists, nurses, social workers and counselors. They review your test results, your progress and discuss the next best step in your care with each other and with you.
- All your records, consultations, test results and all the provider notes about you and your treatment’s history are in an electronic medical record, available to all the doctors within the University of Colorado Hospital system. Any of them may be called in from all our specialties to help treat you and your condition.
- You also have access to complementary and alternative medicine through our doctor-led Center for Integrative Medicine.
We’re proud to say that cancer treatment at UCH includes compassionate support and education for you and your entire support network.
Advanced Research and Treatment
As the regional leader in cancer research, treatment and support, you get specialized care not available anywhere else in Colorado.
- World-renowned experts in cancer diagnosis and staging, which are the first steps for getting proper cancer care.
- Patients are treated in facilities specifically designed to protect weakened immune systems.
- Access to many new treatments, including the latest drugs and vaccines for treating lung cancer and increasing life expectancy, through our involvement in clinical trials.
Lung cancer is not one disease
The biggest recent breakthroughs in treating advanced lung cancer have come from molecularly profiling an individual's cancer and directing that patient to the most promising treatment – often within clinical trials – as soon as possible.
Our lung cancer team profiles every patient's lung cancer for an ever-expanding list of molecular abnormalities. When coupled with our unparalleled access to new treatments through clinical trials, results can sometimes be amazing.
One of the first such trials generated a lot of attention in the news:
Read a recent story posted on Denver's 7News website about a new drug regimen for one specific subtype of lung cancer.
In another 7News story, a drug combination therapy shows promising results for a patient with the EGFR lung cancer mutation.
Go to this Colorado Public Radio page to find a "Colorado Matters" interview with UCH lung cancer specialist Ross Camidge, MD, director of the Thoracic Oncology Clinical Program.
Following these exciting results, many other molecularly preselected trials have been developed trying to produce the same kind of results in other patients with lung cancer--those whose cancers may be driven by other specific molecular changes that need to be tested for. A few years ago, the University of Colorado also became the lead site for the national Lung Cancer Mutation Consortium, a collaboration of 14 of the nation’s elite lung cancer programs. The consortium really helped to establish molecular testing across the country, looking initially for ten different molecular abnormalities in lung cancer and pairing them with specific experimental treatments.
In the News
At a Glance: Our Lung & Chest Cancer Team
We take a true multidisciplinary approach to treating cancer. That means we bring a number of cancer specialists – including thoracic surgeons, medical oncologists, pathologists, radiologists, nurses, social workers, counselors and more to review your case, follow its progress and develop ways to achieve the best results.
Being at an academic medical center allows many of these professionals to subspecialize – in other words, they focus solely on lung and chest cancers. That generally means they not only know the latest proven treatments and research, but they are often on the forefront of discovering them.
Our Thoracic Oncology Team:
- Is internationally recognized as a center for developing and setting new standards in the treatment of lung and related cancers
- Is nationally recognized as a center for second opinions on all aspects of lung cancer and thoracic cancer care
- Provides the most state-of-the-art care available for those diagnosed with lung cancer and other chest cancers
- Understands and provides access to the latest clinical trials for lung and chest cancers
- Has survival rates for advanced lung cancer that are up to 4 times higher than state and national averages
"Words cannot describe my level of respect, appreciation and overwhelming gratitude for everyone involved in my experience at the Cancer Center. I am totally confident in my cancer team."