Innovative Technology Enables Earlier and More Accurate Diagnosis of Lung Cancer Lung cancer is a growing problem in the U.S. and is the leading cancer killer of both men and women. Most lung cancer diagnoses come at an advanced-stage when patients become symptomatic, resulting in five-year survival rates that are under 20 percent. Early detection of lung cancer is critical to improving survival but can be challenging. An innovation that holds promise to fight lung cancer is now in use at TriStar Centennial Medical by Susan Center. Used to view Garwood, MD the inside of the lungs and obtain a tissue Pulmonary sample for biopsy, the and Advanced Auris Health Monarch Bronchoscopy Platform enables earlier Lung Cancer and more accurate Specialist diagnosis of small and hard-to-reach nodules TriStar Medical Group Centennial in the periphery of the lung. TriStar Thoracic Surgical Centennial is the Associates first in the state of Tennessee and among the first in the U.S. to utilize the new technology, which was recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The technology integrates the latest advancements in robotics, software, data science and endoscopy. The Monarch™ Platform provides improved reach, vision and control for bronchoscopic procedures. Combining traditional endoscopic views into the lung with computer-assisted navigation based on 3-D models of the patient’s own lung anatomy, the technology provides physicians with continuous bronchoscope vision throughout the entire procedure. Endoscopies rely on a physician’s steady hands operating a long camera as it is manually fed into, and manipulated within, a patient’s body. The new robotic system helps doctors navigate the twists and turns in the lungs. The flexible robotic bronchoscope, which contains a tiny camera, navigates the small tubes in a patient’s lungs by direct physician guidance. The physician directs the procedure with a remote that looks a lot like an Xbox controller to navigate the flexible robotic endoscope to the periphery of the lung. When at the desired location, biopsies can be performed to extract a tissue sample under direct visualization, which can increase accuracy and decrease risk of complications. There are a variety of diagnostic options currently available for lung cancer, but all have limitations in accuracy, safety, and invasiveness. These limitations can lead to missed cancers due to
non-diagnostic biopsies, and side effects such as pneumothorax and hemorrhage, which may increase health care costs and extend hospital stays. The ability to use complementary technology with this platform allows simultaneous lymph node evaluation for staging or radiation marker placement to guide treatment all in one anesthetic event. Prior to having the Monarch Platform, pulmonologists were much more limited in the types of patients we could evaluate and the nodules we could reach. Now with 360-degree visualization in the airways, and a nested scope design that allows one scope to stay planted while the second ventures on to the exact spot being
targeted, navigating complex s-curves in the lungs is no longer problematic. The Monarch Platform enhances our ability to evaluate and diagnose lung cancer at an earlier stage. We are excited about the promise of this technology to shorten the time from the discovery of a lung nodule to the treatment of a lung cancer. Earlier diagnosis saves lives in an otherwise deadly disease. As exciting as this new technology is, this may be just the beginning. Now that we have the tools to reach farther into the lung and biopsy with extreme precision, the hope is this will be a gateway to delivering targeted therapies for treating lung cancer, as well. For more information about robotic assisted bronchoscopy and to refer a patient to a lung cancer specialist for evaluation, please call (615) 342-7345.
Nashville Medical News March 2019