Lung Cancer Program

Lung cancer: We know it's scary. We'll help you every step of the way from diagnosis through treatment. Our experts are highly coordinated at every step, with the latest research to deliver the best care for you. Your lung cancer team focuses on lung cancer only, giving them a deeper understanding of the disease and knowledge of the most effective treatment options. No matter how rare your cancer, we can handle every type of malignancy and type of tumor that other centers in the state rarely see.

Our clinicians are also top researchers on the leading edge of cancer research, always searching for ways to make the best cancer treatment even better. Our clinical trials give you early access to the most recent, advanced treatment options. This may include drugs not yet on the market and other treatments under development that have the potential to increase survival rates and improve quality of life.

Services That Set Us Apart

  • Shorter recovery. Our cancer surgeons are experts in the use of minimally invasive surgical techniques to treat lung cancer, which means faster recovery after surgery.
  • Gated SBRT to the chest: Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT) is high-dose, short course radiation therapy that targets a tumor as it moves in pace with your breathing. This results in less damage to the surrounding healthy tissue and is done here routinely.
  • Genetics of tumors: We look at the genetics of your cancer cells to find the treatment that will work best for you. This is known as molecular profiling, and it's done primarily in-house, giving you shorter turnaround times and direct access to the experts.
  • Short wait times. The lung cancer team will see you as quickly as possible for your first appointment, often within a few days. Plus, most tests are run in-house, so you'll get your results back sooner.
  • New infusion suite designed with patients in mind. Our infusion suite was designed with patient input to create a comfortable, welcoming environment for chemotherapy treatments.

Why Choose Holden for Your Care?

Patients of Holden Cancer Center benefit from a team-based approach that puts each patient at the center. At Holden, experts in specific cancer types—including a genetic counselor certified and specializing in cancer genetic counseling—is part of this team.

Holden patients also benefit from medical advances that take into account an individual’s tumor, genes, environment, and lifestyle to diagnose and treat their specific types of cancer. Known as personalized, or precision medicine, this highly specialized approach is part of Holden’s commitment to providing life-changing medical treatments and care.

Cancer Care With You in Mind

As a “comprehensive” center, our teams have expertise in clinical, laboratory, and population-based research. Our doctors and staff stay on top of the newest developments in cancer research, treatment, and diagnosis.

Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center is the only institution in Iowa to hold the prestigious designation of being a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), which means we are rated in the top 4 percent of the approximately 1,500 cancer centers in the United States. A recent study published in the journal Cancer showed that patients treated at NCI-designated cancer centers have better survival outcomes than patients treated at non–NCI-designated cancer centers.

Our team of experts will design a treatment plan that is tailored to your individual needs. We know no one wants to stay in the hospital longer than necessary, so we work especially hard to make sure your treatment options are done on an outpatient basis, thereby allowing you to rest in the comfort of your own home.

The Power of Clinical Trials

Clinical trials is where research meets patient care. A great deal of research is done behind the scenes in laboratories, long before clinical trials can even begin. Clinical trials are research studies that test out the latest treatments and drugs that are not yet available to the public. These new treatments have the potential to improve your quality of life or increase your chances of survival.

  • A clinical trial for stage IV non-small cell lung cancer is currently underway, testing high doses of Vitamin C injected directly into the blood stream as a cancer therapy in conjunction with chemotherapy. Research has shown that high-dose, intravenous vitamin C essentially weakens cancer cells, making radiation and chemotherapy treatments more effective.
  • Vitamin C in cancer treatment

See a full list and learn more about clinical trials at Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Support Our Mission

Our work is made possible in part by the support of donors through charitable giving. Friends of Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center can become partners in the effort to control and ultimately cure cancer. Learn how you can help us make a difference for cancer patients.

Lung Cancer Multidisciplinary Team

We bring experts from different fields of medicine to work together in a multidisciplinary oncology group. Our team meets regularly to discuss the best course of treatment and design the best personalized plan for every patient. The team along with others caring for you, includes radiologists, bronchoscopists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, social workers, pathologists, pharmacists, nurses, and laboratory-based scientists. In fact, the only two general thoracic surgeons in the state practice here. Our team of specialists focuses not just on lung cancer, but on your lung cancer.

Research Nurses

  • Michelle Arnold, RN
  • Susan Butcher, RN
  • Erin Kauffman, RN
  • Mary Schall, RN
  • Pam Zehr, RN