The Mayo Clinic Lung Cancer Program is one of the country's largest and most experienced practices focused on lung cancer, mesotheliomas, thymomas and other chest (thoracic) cancers. Mayo Clinic's practice is integrated across the U.S., with programs in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona, Jacksonville, Florida, and Rochester, Minnesota, and affiliated practices across the Midwest.

Mayo Clinic focuses a team of specialists on your needs. For instance, the program regularly conducts a Tumor Board meeting, where specialists discuss all complex medical cases currently under their care. In addition to experts in your specific disease, Mayo Clinic houses doctors and surgeons with expertise in virtually every medical specialty.

Having a multidisciplinary team of experts on your side means doctors can cater your care plan to address all of your health care needs, including other medical conditions you may have.

Your Mayo Clinic care team

Chest (thoracic) malignancies, including lung cancer, have better outcomes when they're treated by a multidisciplinary team of experts. Mayo Clinic experts evaluate and treat thousands of people with chest cancers every year. A team of specialists examines your history and coordinates a quick yet thorough evaluation with access to the full range of modern diagnostics, including imaging, molecular testing, guided bronchoscopy, pleuroscopy and image-guided biopsy.

Your care team may include:

Multidisciplinary Tumor Board

Complex diseases need complex care

Multidisciplinary care provides important benefits for treatment planning for people with complex chest cancers (thoracic malignancies), including advanced-stage lung cancer, oligometastatic disease, multifocal lung cancer, mesothelioma and neuroendocrine tumors.

Regular review and discussion

The Mayo Clinic Lung Cancer Tumor Board — consisting of medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, pulmonologists, thoracic surgeons, radiologists, pathologists and palliative care physicians — meets regularly to discuss new patients with chest cancers. These multidisciplinary experts discuss the best treatment strategies, then care providers share the results of the discussion with those receiving care.

Ongoing communication with you

Members of the integrated team communicate daily with members of the care team about care decisions. This constant collaboration means you have a team of experts reviewing your case and providing the most up-to-date treatment options, including enrollment in clinical trials if appropriate. If your needs require, your care team has the ability to communicate with you through telehealth.

Advanced diagnosis and treatment of thoracic malignancies

At Mayo Clinic, specialists harness the latest diagnostic and treatment innovations and technology to ensure you get the best care possible. For instance, Mayo Clinic doctors have been instrumental in establishing a lifesaving lung cancer screening approach that uses low-dose CT scans to detect cancer at its earliest, most treatable stage.

Mayo Clinic doctors are experts in the diagnosis and staging of thoracic malignancies. This is an essential first step in developing a care plan based on your exact condition. For example, lung cancer is a fairly generic term. However, there are different types of lung cancer, including non-small cell lung cancer — adenocarcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and others — and small cell lung cancer. Most recently it has become clear that there are many more subgroups of lung cancer than previously known, each with their own genetic and immunological makeup.

Mayo Clinic uses advanced laboratory techniques to determine a cancer's specific genotype, whether it's aggressive and whether it's early stage or advanced. Knowing exactly which type of lung cancer you have plays perhaps the most crucial role in your outcome, as Mayo Clinic specialists can use this information to tailor the best treatment plan to your unique lung cancer.

Oftentimes, ideal care plans for chest cancers involve a complex mix of treatment options, including surgery, radiation, molecularly targeted therapy, immunotherapy, chemotherapy and cutting-edge clinical research trials.

Treatment options

  • Surgery To treat early-stage lung cancer, Mayo Clinic thoracic surgeons routinely use minimally invasive techniques, including video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) and robotic surgery, which ensures you have the easiest recovery possible. Surgeons reduce invasiveness even more by removing the smallest amount of lung tissue necessary through procedures such as segmental resection, sleeve lobectomy and bilobectomy. Mayo Clinic thoracic surgeons operate on people with chest malignancies every day.
  • Radiation Radiation oncologists use the latest technology to carefully shape and precisely deliver radiation to your tumor while protecting as much healthy tissue in the heart and lung as possible. Targeted radiation treatments are available through stereotactic body radiotherapy, intensity-modulated radiation therapy, volumetric modulated arc therapy, image-guided radiation therapy and cutting-edge intensity-modulated proton beam therapy. These techniques can be used for either early-stage disease or advanced disease and have been shown to reduce the risk of side effects and improve outcomes.
  • Immunotherapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy and other medicines Most people are familiar with the concept of chemotherapy to treat cancer. However, Mayo Clinic oncologists use a variety of systemic treatments, including molecularly targeted therapy and cutting-edge immunotherapy. They select the treatment depending on your needs and use many factors, including the genetic and immunological makeup of your tumor.
  • Clinical trials Mayo Clinic doctors are constantly trying to identify better and more effective therapeutic options for thoracic malignancies. Mayo Clinic is one of 50 National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated comprehensive cancer centers and initiates and participates in many clinical trials. This gives Mayo Clinic patients access to some of the most promising new treatment approaches for chest cancers. Research shows that people who participate in clinical trials have better outcomes than those who do not.
  • Symptom control and palliative care Mayo Clinic has a comprehensive program to provide symptom control and palliative care to people with thoracic malignancies. This includes an active interventional pulmonary program providing airway and pleural interventions, such as airway debulking and stents, and the outpatient placement of intrapleural catheters.

Your doctors will talk with you about the tests and procedures that are right for you. Together you will review your lung cancer treatment options.

Mayo Clinic doctors who treat people with cancers in the chest (thoracic malignancies) have expertise in a many complex and serious forms of the disease, including:

Mayo Clinic has one of the largest and most experienced practices in the United States, with campuses in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota. Staff skilled in dozens of specialties work together to ensure quality care and successful recovery.

Find doctors and medical staff:


Cardiothoracic Surgery

  1. Staci E. Beamer, M.D.

Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery

  1. Dawn E. Jaroszewski, M.D.

Diagnostic Radiology

  1. Sadeer J. Alzubaidi, M.D.
  2. Grace (Martha-Gracia) Knuttinen, M.D., Ph.D.
  3. J. Scott Kriegshauser, M.D.
  4. Sailendra G. Naidu, M.D.

Interventional Pulmonology

  1. Kenneth K. Sakata, M.D.

Laboratory Medicine and Pathology

  1. Brandon T. Larsen, M.D., Ph.D.
  2. Maxwell L. Smith, M.D.
  3. Henry D. Tazelaar, M.D.

Pulmonary Medicine

  1. Azadeh, Natalya, M.D., M.P.H.
  2. Karen L. Swanson, D.O.
  3. Laszlo T. Vaszar, M.D.
  4. Lewis J. Wesselius, M.D.

Radiation Oncology

  1. Steven E. Schild, M.D.
  2. Terence T. Sio, M.D., M.S.


  1. Kristopher W. Cummings, M.D.
  2. Michael B. Gotway, M.D.
  3. Eric A. Jensen, M.D.
  4. Clinton E. Jokerst, M.D.


Cardiothoracic Surgery

  1. Mathew Thomas, M.B.B.S., M.D.
  2. Ian A. Makey, M.D.

Critical Care

  1. John E. Moss, M.D.

Hematology and Oncology

  1. Elizabeth A. Johnson, M.D.
  2. Yanyan Lou, M.D., Ph.D.
  3. Rami Manochakian, M.D.

Laboratory Medicine and Pathology

  1. Andras Khoor, M.D., Ph.D.

Pulmonary Medicine

  1. Vichaya Arunthari, M.D.
  2. Sebastian Fernandez-Bussy, M.D.
  3. Margaret M. Johnson, M.D.
  4. Neal M. Patel, M.D.

Radiation Oncology

  1. Stephen J. Ko, M.D.
  2. Byron C. May, M.D.


Laboratory Medicine and Pathology

  1. Marie-Christine Aubry, M.D.
  2. Melanie C. Bois, M.D.
  3. Jennifer M. Boland Froemming, M.D.
  4. Benjamin R. Kipp, Ph.D.
  5. Joseph J. Maleszewski, M.D.
  6. Anja C. Roden, M.D.
  7. Joanne E. Yi, M.D.

Medical Oncology

  1. Aaron S. Mansfield, M.D.
  2. Julian R. Molina, M.D., Ph.D.

Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine

  1. Cassandra M. Braun, M.D.
  2. William F. Dunn, M.D.
  3. Eric S. Edell, M.D.
  4. Hoskote, Sumedh S., M.B.B.S.
  5. Ryan M. Kern, M.D.
  6. David E. Midthun, M.D.
  7. John J. Mullon, M.D.
  8. Tobias Peikert, M.D.
  9. Dante N. Schiavo, M.D.
  10. Charles F. Thomas, Jr., M.D.
  11. Hemang Yadav, M.B.B.S.

Radiation Oncology

  1. Yolanda I. Garces, M.D.
  2. James L. Leenstra, M.D.
  3. Timothy K. McKone, M.D.
  4. Kenneth R. Olivier, M.D.


  1. Matthew R. Callstrom, M.D., Ph.D.
  2. Patrick W. Eiken, M.D.

Thoracic Oncology

  1. Alex A. Adjei, M.D., Ph.D.
  2. Anastasios (Tassos) Dimou, M.D.
  3. Thorvardur R. Halfdanarson, M.D.
  4. Konstantinos Leventakos, M.D.
  5. Aaron S. Mansfield, M.D.
  6. Julian R. Molina, M.D., Ph.D.

Thoracic Surgery

  1. Shanda Blackmon, M.D., M.P.H.
  2. Stephen D. Cassivi, M.D., M.S.
  3. Janani S. Reisenauer, M.D.
  4. K Robert Shen, M.D.
  5. Dennis Wigle, M.D., Ph.D.

Mayo Clinic has one of the largest and most experienced practices in the United States, with campuses in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota. Staff skilled in dozens of specialties work together to ensure quality care and successful recovery.

Specialists in the Lung Cancer Program are organized into disease-oriented teams to enhance collaboration, research and patient care.

Specialty groups related to this department:

Each year, close to 5,000 people with lung cancer receive care at Mayo Clinic. This experience means Mayo Clinic is one of the best hospitals to treat lung cancer, as your doctors are equipped with the knowledge and resources to provide you with exactly the care you need. Mayo Clinic lung cancer specialists have experience treating all types and stages of lung cancer, including rare types and multifocal lung cancers.

Research shows that people who are treated for lung cancer at medical centers that treat many cases of lung cancer have better outcomes than do people treated at medical centers that treat fewer cases. Mayo Clinic has extensive experience caring for people with lung cancer — and people treated at Mayo Clinic have shown superior survival rates.

Mayo Clinic thoracic surgeons perform more than 900 minimally invasive lung operations every year. Studies show that hospitals with high surgical volumes have higher success rates and improved outcomes, including reduced post-surgical pain, shorter hospital stays and fewer complications.

Mayo Clinic pulmonologists perform thousands of bronchoscopies a year, including hundreds of lung cancer staging procedures.

Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, and Mayo Clinic in Phoenix/Scottsdale, Arizona, are ranked among the Best Hospitals for cancer and pulmonology in the U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals rankings.

Making care better

Many Mayo Clinic doctors are also scientists, which means they are constantly striving to improve care and applying the latest technologies and treatment methods to their care.

At Mayo Clinic, cancer care is delivered through the Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Cancer Center, which the National Cancer Institute recognizes as a comprehensive cancer center. This means Mayo Clinic cancer specialists perform exceptional research and use a multispecialty approach to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer.

The Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Cancer Center is also accredited by the American College of Surgeons' Commission on Cancer, which recognizes high-quality cancer treatment programs that provide comprehensive and multidisciplinary care.

Through the Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Cancer Center and research cooperatives, such as the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology, people with cancer can gain access to the latest lung cancer clinical trials when their condition warrants it.

Mayo Clinic has major campuses in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona; Jacksonville, Florida; and Rochester, Minnesota. The Mayo Clinic Health System has dozens of locations in several states.

For more information on visiting Mayo Clinic, choose your location below:

Our patients tell us that the quality of their interactions, our attention to detail and the efficiency of their visits mean health care like they've never experienced. See the stories of satisfied Mayo Clinic patients.

Mayo Clinic works with hundreds of insurance companies and is an in-network provider for millions of people.

In most cases, Mayo Clinic doesn't require a physician referral. Some insurers require referrals, or may have additional requirements for certain medical care. All appointments are prioritized on the basis of medical need.

Learn more about appointments at Mayo Clinic.

Please contact your insurance company to verify medical coverage and to obtain any needed authorization prior to your visit. Often, your insurer's customer service number is printed on the back of your insurance card.

Mayo Clinic researchers advanced immunotherapies by playing an essential role in the discovery of drugs (immune checkpoint inhibitors) that enable the immune system to fight cancer cells. Doctors and researchers are now exploring new minimally invasive and robotic surgical techniques, cutting-edge radiation therapy approaches (proton beam therapy) and individualized molecular targeted therapies for people with thoracic malignancies.

  • Improving early diagnosis. Mayo Clinic doctors are investigating ways to make lung cancer screening programs more effective by expanding the understanding of lung cancer risk and developing new tests, including blood tests, that could supplement imaging tests.
  • Making surgery less invasive. Mayo Clinic thoracic surgeons are devising less-invasive techniques that lead to faster healing and less pain, including microlobectomy and robotic surgery.
  • Developing new targets for systemic therapy. Mayo Clinic doctors are studying lung cancer cells in order to develop new ways of targeting treatments. Mayo Clinic researchers made an important discovery that led to immunotherapy treatments called immune checkpoint inhibitors that have revolutionized care for people with metastatic lung cancer.

Lung cancer research is conducted in coordination with the Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Cancer Center. The Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Cancer Center receives funding from the National Cancer Institute and is designated as a comprehensive cancer center — recognition for an institution's scientific excellence and multidisciplinary resources focused on cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

Learn more about lung cancer research:

Mayo Clinic Clinical Trial Matching

Clinical trials give patients access to new and emerging treatments, yet only 5 percent of patients with cancer choose to participate in trials nationwide. One reason for such low research participation is they difficulty for patients and research staff to find the appropriate studies. In order to make this process more efficient, Mayo Clinic has teamed up with IBM to develop Watson Clinical Trial Matching. Watson can take in large amounts of information about studies and then can quickly search patient records to find any matches. This new tool will help Mayo to quickly match potentially eligible patients to open Mayo clinical trials. Watson will help ensure that Mayo patients can be accurately and consistently considered for promising clinical trial opportunities at Mayo Clinic.


See a list of publications about lung cancer by Mayo Clinic doctors on PubMed, a service of the National Library of Medicine.