Morning Mix


Spectrum Health one of first with new lung biopsy technology

Posted at 10:44 AM, Jul 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-13 15:04:59-04

Spectrum Health is now able to use new minimally invasive technology for lung biopsies. Lung biopsies are an important step in determining of a patient has lung cancer. To be able to perform highly accurate biopsies in a minimally invasive manner – no incision – is a great step forward in patient care. We spoke with Dr. Gustavo Cumbo-Nacheli and Dr.Geoffrey Lam about this state-of-the-art technology.

The pulmonology department and the Lung Multispecialty Team clinic at the Spectrum Health Cancer Center now can combine three technologies—robotics, electromagnetic navigation and a cone beam CT scanner - to provide real-time scans of our patients’ lungs during biopsies. They use Auris Health’s Monarch™ Platform in combination with Philips’ Cone Beam computed tomography (CT) technology and augmented fluoroscopy.

It works by navigating a flexible robotic endoscope deep into the lungs to reach even the most difficult nodules in the lungs and are able to precisely see what they are doing the whole time.

Currently, there are a variety of diagnostic options available for lung conditions, but all have limitations in accuracy, safety or invasiveness. These limitations can lead to false positives, false negatives, and/ or side effects, such as a collapsed lung and hemorrhage. This kind of technology helps physicians make an earlier diagnosis and begin treatment promptly, potentially saving many lives.

This technology uses an instinctive game-like controller to navigate to the periphery, or outermost regions, of the lung. Doctors are able to more accurately perform biopsies is a safer, simpler way for patients which enables us to start treating their condition sooner and more precisely.

This technology, in combination with lung cancer screening and better smoking cessation programs, will helps us continue to turn the tide against lung cancer - the nation’s most deadly form of cancer. Lung cancer which kills 150,000 Americans each year and accounts for 25 percent of all cancer deaths.

There is belief that specialist will soon be able to not only to biopsy a tumor, but to treat it. Researchers are investigating the use of the procedure to perform an ablation or deliver chemotherapy directly to a tumor.

To learn more, it's recommended that you speak to their primary care provider and discuss all their options for diagnosis and treatment. You can also call the Spectrum Health Cancer Center for a second opinion at 1-855-SHCANCER.