At Athens Medical Group we ensure that patients with lung cancer have access to the best possible treatments incorporating the latest advances and research results internationally. At the same time, we support our patients with specialized programs designed to help them face the challenges associated with their diagnosis.
AMG care team
At Athens Medical Group’s hospitals, International Medical Protocols for the prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer are implemented.
We support a holistic, multi-disciplinary, approach to the treatment and care for patients of lung cancer, offering expertise from various medical fields in the form of an Oncology Board. A team of leading medical scientists, such as surgeons, pulmonologists, oncologists, radiation oncologists, radiologists, pathologists and thoracic surgeons collaborate combining their expertise and experience in order to provide the best possible treatment for each patient.
The team may also include doctors and nurses, specialized in relevant fields, such as palliative therapy, nutrition and psychotherapy.
Our doctors are equipped with experience and knowledge, as well as all the necessary resources, to treat all types and stages of lung cancer.
At Athens Medical Group, we strongly believe that excellence in medical care can be achieved not only through scientific expertise but also through empathy, compassion and respect for the patient and his or her loved ones.
We make sure you receive care truly tailored to your needs in environment that values you and your life.
Focusing on your case, a multidisciplinary team of lung cancer specialists, your own personal care team, will work with you closely in order to produce a comprehensive and personalized care plan, involving treatments, schedules and supporting services (rehabilitation, nutrition, counseling, etc.) that reflect your needs.
You will consult with some of the best doctors, surgeons in Greece as well as other health experts, all dedicated to preventing, diagnosing and treating lung cancer. Those experts will help you review your treatment and care options and explain the potential benefits and complications of each.
Our lung cancer specialists are widely respected for their expertise and experience in using the most advanced treatment options to their patients.
At Athens Medical Group we offer a full range of treatment and care options for lung cancer, including:
For patients with metastatic lung cancer depending on the molecular profile of the tumor oral or intravenous systemic chemotherapy is administered, with or without immunotherapy based on the latest international protocols. Best supportive care will be chosen when patients are not fit for full treatment.
The evolution of lung cancer treatment in the past 15 years has emphasized the need for a multidisciplinary approach. According to the latest data from international medical institutions, high-volume centers and multidisciplinary teams are more efficient at managing patients, by providing more complete staging, better adherence to guidelines and increased survival. A proper diagnosis and staging, necessary for treatment decisions, often requires challenging tissue sampling. Multidisciplinary oncological boards reflect that need, with the sampling being carried out by interventional radiologists, interventional pulmonologists or thoracic surgeons.
Lung cancer symptoms occur late in the disease, so the majority of patients with lung cancer are diagnosed with advanced disease.
A common diagnostic test for lung cancer is transbronchial needle aspiration and fibreoptic bronchoscopy, often accompanied with evaluation of regional lymph nodes by endobronchial ultrasound and/or endoscopic ultrasound.
Bronchoalveolar lavage, is a procedure in which a bronchoscope is passed through the mouth or nose into the lungs in which a fluid is squirted and then collected for laboratory examination.
Radiological testing includes a contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CT) scan of the chest, followed by positron emission tomography (PET) ideally coupled with CT.
PET/CT scan offers, also, the highest sensitivity for mediastinal lymph nodes and distant metastasis assessment.
Histological diagnosis through small biopsy and/or cytology-type samples is crucial to many treatment decisions and should be exact and detailed.
Immunohistochemistry has become a key technique in primary diagnosis as well as in predictive biomarker assessment.
Therapy-predictive biomarker testing is a practice that has recently evolved into two testing streams, one for the detection of targetable, oncogenic alterations and the other for immuno-oncology therapy biomarker testing.
Blood monitoring through blood tests allows for the detection of oncogenic genomic alterations, as well as factors associated with resistance of the cancer to treatment, in a way that is not feasible with repeated biopsies.
Once the diagnosis and staging procedure has been completed and the precise histological type has been determined, the oncology board team is called upon to decide on the best-expected treatment with the lowest risk, offering the best quality of life and better long-term survival.
The only treatment that offers long-term survival for lung cancer patients is surgery, if the cancer is at an early stage or more rarely when it is advanced, but always after strict selection.
Other forms of treatment include chemotherapy, radiotherapy, interventional radiology, immunotherapy and targeted therapy.
Our surgeons perform the most complex thoracic surgery for lung cancer, even in cases of patients with very limited respiratory reserve. Many of the thoracic surgical procedures performed at the Hospitals of Athens Medical Group require special surgical techniques demanding in terms of both experience and competence.
Complication rates (morbidity and mortality) are at the lowest levels compared to those in the international academic journals.
Finally, patients have access to all the most up-to-date specialized laboratories, at the top of which are the CT tomography, MRI and PET-CT fragments, the endoscopic section, the invasive radiology section, and the Pathological Laboratory. They are staffed by leading experts with tremendous experience in chest conditions.
Surgery for the treatment of lung cancer is constantly evolving: from open surgery to video-assisted pulmonary resection (VATS), which is an alternative to thoracotomy for early stage lung cancer. It is associated with minimal tissue injury, better preservation of respiratory mechanics, less pain and faster return to daily activities. Oncologic outcomes are comparable with, if not better than the traditional open approach.
The surgical procedures for the removal of lung cancer may vary according to the extent of the disease:
With the help of Robotic Thoracic Surgery, the approach to the lung is done in a very minimally invasive manner.
Also, Robotic Thoracic Surgery performs high-precision robotic lymph node dissection to prevent the spread of cancerous cells.
Surgical treatment of locally advanced lung cancer
There are lung tumors which have progressed and invaded structures such as the chest wall, the airway or one the great vessels. If such a tumor has not spread elsewhere and the surgeon considers that it is technically possible to resect the entire tumor, then a complex operation can be undertaken.
Furthermore, for those patients with locally advanced lung cancer and spread of the disease to the mediastinal lymph nodes induction chemotherapy is followed by repeat staging. If there is no disease progression, surgical resection is a viable option. These operations are more demanding than routine surgeries and require great experience and knowledge in the treatment of lung cancer.
At the hospitals of Athens Medical Group we have treated a significant number of patients with great success and very low risk.
Benign and malignant tracheal and main bronchus tumors
These are very rare, but in many cases need surgical treatment in order to relieve airway obstruction and increase survival rates in case of malignancy. The trachea is resected and an end to end anastomosis is performed without the need for graft. Our expert surgeons at Athens Medical Group have performed a significant number of such operations with very low morbidity and no mortality.
Lung cancer radiation therapy involves the use of powerful, high-energy X-rays to destroy cancer cells or prevent them from growing. Radiation may come from an external source, outside the body or internally, from radioactive materials placed directly inside the tumor. In most cases, external radiation is used.
Radiation therapy may be used before surgery or after surgery, often combined with chemotherapy. If the cancer has metastasized to other organs and areas of the body, radiation therapy may help relieve symptoms. The Hospitals of Athens Medical Group offer cutting-edge radiation therapy technologies.
Although lung cancer treatment in early stages is surgical, there are cases where due to associated medical problems, patients are virtually inoperable.
Patients who do not respond positively to chemotherapy or radiation and patients with limited metastatic lung disease, which for many reasons cannot be treated, may be subjected to various methods of interventional radiology that is appropriate to their case, with the safety the great experience and specialization that the Interventional Radiology department provides.
Applications of invasive radiology in the lung include:
Chemotherapy uses specific drugs to destroy cancer cells. The drugs may be given intravenously or from the mouth. Chemotherapy for lung cancer entails, usually, administering a combination of drugs over a period of weeks or months, with breaks in between allowing for the patient to recover. In cases of advanced lung cancer, chemotherapy is carried out as a means of relieving pain and other symptoms.
Targeted therapy drugs focus on cancer cells and interrupt their growth and function. They are specifically designed to attach themselves to specific targets unique to cancer cells, such as receptors and proteins.
Targeted therapy may be used in combination with other types of lung cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy and targeted radiation therapy. Targeted therapy drugs work in different ways to chemotherapy.
Not every patient may benefit from targeted drug therapy, since not all be are eligible. Your doctor will explain your testing options and treatment recommendations.
Immunotherapy aims at enabling the body’s own immune system fight the cancer. It is a new approach to treating lung cancer, generally reserved for people with an advanced disease. Some of the patients show positive results. However, not all respond to immunotherapy, since there are many different types of lung cancer with significant differences in the tumors. Current research focuses on understanding why some lung cancers respond better to immunotherapy.
Some of the most frequent questions asked to our doctors include:
Filadelfeos & Kefalariou 1, 14562 Kifisia Athens, Greece