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General Thoracic Surgery

  • Masao Nakata, M.D., Ph. D. Professor

Main Areas and Themes of Research

Faculty research in our department focuses on various interests derived from the clinical practice of general thoracic surgery. Among these, oncologic problems associated with lung cancer treatments represent our major challenges.

1.Research on Biological Markers

Several biological markers expressed in lung cancer tissue, which are candidates for prognostic predictors and targets of order-made treatment, are investigated.

2.Research on Genetic Polymorphism

Genetic polymorphism which regulates the expression and function of biological markers in cancer tissue is investigated.

3.Research on Local Immunological Responses

Local immunological responses in lung cancer tissue are investigated, especially with respect to the role of T-reg cells and cancer specific antigens.

4.Research on Minimal Invasive Surgery

The clinical application of endoscopic surgery is investigated for minimal invasive treatments for both malignant and benign disorders.

5.Research on Postoperative Respiratory Function

Optimal predictive methods of postoperative respiratory function following various surgical approaches are investigated for the safe operation and optimization of QOL.

Clinical Features

About 70% of patients treated in our department suffer from thoracic malignant diseases. Therefore, we believe that providing the most effective treatment based on current oncologic evidence is our mission. For this purpose, various perioperative treatments including diagnoses, induction or adjuvant chemotherapies, and even non-surgical interventions, as well as surgery, are performed by certificated surgeons. With respect to surgical treatments, video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) are applied in 60% of lung cancer surgery cases, thereby providing safe and less invasive treatments for increasing elderly or compromised patients.

Mediastinal disorders including myasthenia gravis are also targeted for treatment. Endoscopic thymectomy provides a good outcome for patients with early thymomas or myasthenia gravis.

Educational Features

For second to fourth year medical students, gradual respiratory block lectures are prepared. Students learn about anatomy, physiology, pathology, and the clinical features of respiratory disorders. For fifth year medical students, a two-week bedside teaching program is offered. Students team with our faculty members and are engaged in the medical care of various patients.

For postgraduate residents, a two-year surgical training program is offered. The program is designed to include rotation in all surgical departments, so that residents are able to experience a sufficient number of surgical treatments for application of the certification. Following this residency, the specified program of General Thoracic Surgery began as a requirement of the Japanese Board of General Thoracic Surgery.