Multidisciplinary Thoracic Oncology Program

About the Multidisciplinary Thoracic Oncology Program (MTOP)
Treatment Decisions and Plan of Care
Communication and Coordination of Care
Appointments and More Information

About MTOP

The Multidisciplinary Thoracic Oncology Program (MTOP) at UNC Hospitals was organized in 1993 to offer high quality, advanced care to patients in an efficient manner. We see patients who may need testing for lung cancer or who have been diagnosed with lung cancer. Our patients come from all over North Carolina and from elsewhere in the United States.

In one day, patients can be evaluated by highly skilled specialists in pulmonary medicine, thoracic surgery,  medical and radiation oncology, thoracic radiology, pathology, and oncology nursing. UNC's MTOP physicians offer every possible treatment option, ensuring the best care for suspected or proven cancers of the lung, esophagus, thymus, chest wall or mediastinum.

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Treatment Decisions and Plan of Care

A plan of care is developed and discussed with the patient on the day of the visit. On clinic days (Tuesdays), the entire MTOP team gathers at a midday conference to discuss each new patient and any new issues involving established patients.  Dedicated thoracic radiologists and pathologists review X-rays and slides. Referring physicians are welcome to attend the conference.

Treatment decisions are based on objective data, reviews of relevant major studies, expertise of MTOP members and the consensus opinion developed at the conference.  A summary of the discussion and plan is put in the patient's chart and is sent to the referring physician. The referring physician is encouraged to participate in the patient's plan of care.

Patients may qualify for new treatment protocols undergoing evaluation.

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Communication and Coordination of Care

A Nurse Coordinator helps patients and families navigate through the stress of a cancer diagnosis and individual treatment plans. A Program Assistant arranges appointments and obtains records and materials prior to the first visit.  A professional counselor and patient advocate meets with each new patient and family to address practical concerns as well as provide emotional support and resource information.

MTOP members continue to be resources to each other as patients progress through treatment phases  Communication and coordination of care that are possible through the multidisciplinary program enable unique delivery of extraordinary cancer care at UNC.

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For Appointments and More Information

All new patients are seen within two weeks of referral, and often within days of referral.

  • To talk to one of our thoracic surgeons (Dr. Haithcock or Dr. Long), please call 919-966-3383.
  • If you would like to make an appointment for a patient to be seen at the UNC thoracic oncology clinic, please call Shamelah Williams at  919-966-3383.
  • Fax patient information to 919-966-3475.

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