Lung Cancer Strategist Program: A novel care delivery model to improve timeliness of diagnosis and treatment in high-risk patients

William W. Phillips, Jessica Copeland, Sophie C. Hofferberth, Julee R. Armitage, Sam Fox, Margaret Kruithoff, Claire de Forcrand, Paul J. Catalano, Christopher S. Lathan, Joel S. Weissman, David D. Odell, Yolonda L. Colson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Introduction: The diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer is challenged by complex diagnostic pathways and fragmented care that can lead to care disparities for vulnerable patients. Methods: A multi-institutional, multidisciplinary conference was convened to address the complexity of lung cancer care particularly in patients at high-risk for treatment delay. The resulting care delivery model, called the Lung Cancer Strategist Program (LCSP), was led by a thoracic-trained advanced practice provider (APP) with emphasis on expedited surgery and early oncologic consultation in the assessment of a newly diagnosed suspicious lung nodule. We performed a retrospective review to evaluate care efficiency and oncologic outcomes in the first 100 LCSP patients compared to 100 concurrent patients managed via routine surgical referral. Results: In the 78 LCSP and 41 routine referral patients managed via nodule surveillance, LCSP patients had a shorter time from suspicious finding to work-up (3 vs. 26 days, p < 0.001) and to surveillance decision (12.5 vs. 39 days, p < 0.001). In the 22 LCSP and 59 routine referral patients treated for intrathoracic malignancy, LCSP patients had fewer hospital visits (4 vs 6, p < 0.001), clinicians seen (1.5 vs. 2, p = 0.08), and diagnostic studies (4 vs 5, p = 0.01) with a shorter time to diagnosis (30.5 vs. 48 days, p = 0.02) and treatment (40.5 vs. 68.5 days, p = 0.02). Conclusions: Patient triage through a thoracic-trained APP in consultation with surgical, medical, and radiation oncology facilitates rapid assessment of benign versus malignant lesions with reduced time to diagnosis and treatment, even among patients at high-risk for treatment delay.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100563
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • Lung nodule screening
  • Multidisciplinary team
  • Thoracic surgeon
  • Vulnerable patient populations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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