Researchers work together to develop better treatments

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.

July 18, 2023