The Yale Cancer Center Thoracic Oncology Program (TOP) is a multidisciplinary program dedicated to providing cutting-edge evaluation and treatment to patients with thoracic malignancies in an efficient and coordinated manner.
Through TOP, patients have access to nationally recognized expert clinicians, who provide an organized, collaborative approach to cancer care, and access to the latest technologies and treatments. Patients also benefit from newly available cancer therapies resulting from scientific insights gained in Yale laboratories and those of other comprehensive cancer centers in the United States.
The program coordinates and integrates the diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment of patients with a thoracic malignancy, including lung cancer, esophageal cancer, thymoma, or chest wall tumors. The program involves a collaboration of specialty physicians, many of whom are listed among the country's best cancer physicians, and are nationally and internationally recognized for their expertise in these types of cancer. Specialties involved include medical oncology, radiation oncology, thoracic surgery, pulmonary medicine, digestive diseases, pathology, diagnostic imaging, and nursing.
Any patient cared for by one of the TOP physicians benefits from the collective expertise of the entire program's physicians because of the team approach that is integral to the program. Patients also benefit from a comprehensive program to help with the physical, emotional, and psychological issues that are part of effectively confronting cancer. Finally, because cutting edge care is at times complex, patients also benefit greatly from the involvement of the team's care coordinators, who make management of even the most detailed multidisciplinary treatment plan less complicated.
The goal of the Thoracic Oncology Program is to treat most patients on a clinical trial or through an approach that represents the forefront of clinical care. TOP focuses the majority of their clinical research on areas of thoracic oncology where the standard treatment is poor and where the optimal treatment approach remains unclear. In these areas, the majority of patients are enrolled in a clinical trial providing them with access to innovative therapy options for their advanced disease, including immunotherapy treatments first used in clinical trials at Smilow Cancer Hospital. In diagnoses where standard treatment is a well-accepted approach, patients are provided access to cutting-edge approaches to deliver the treatment, including minimally invasive surgery and highly technically advanced radiation therapy treatment planning.