How Englewood Health is using robotic-assisted technology to help increase early diagnosis of lung cancer

Advanced tech will allow doctors to perform minimally invasive biopsies in distant areas of lungs

Englewood Health is introducing robotic-assisted bronchoscopy, using the Ion endoluminal system from Intuitive Surgical, to improve the early diagnosis of lung cancer. This advanced technology allows doctors to perform minimally invasive biopsies in distant areas of the lungs, including small nodules in the peripheral regions.

According to research published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, 70% of nodules lie in the outer third of the lung. Therefore, reaching peripheral nodules is critical in order to detect lung cancers in their earliest stages, when they are most likely to respond to treatment, said Dr. David Shiu, chief of pulmonary medicine at Englewood Health.

“With this technology, we can access lung lesions that were previously unreachable with standard bronchoscopy techniques,” he said. “Robotic-assisted bronchoscopy allows for more reach, more stability and greater precision over traditional bronchoscopy.”

The robotic-assisted bronchoscopy is the latest addition to Englewood Health’s armament of advanced technologies that ensure world class care is delivered close to home.

The Ion bronchoscopy platform has an ultrathin, maneuverable catheter, with an integrated vision probe for visualization while navigating to the target, and stability that allows pulmonologists to extend their reach far into the peripheral areas of the lung. Additionally, the tool has unique shape-sensing technology that gives doctors detailed, real-time information, and greater control of the catheter position to locate and take tissue biopsies with a high degree of accuracy.

Dr. Christos Stavropoulos, director of thoracic oncology at the Lefcourt Family Cancer Treatment and Wellness Center and chief of thoracic surgery at Englewood Health, was pleased.

“We’re entering a new era in lung cancer diagnosis and treatment with the introduction of robotic-assisted bronchoscopy,” he said. “This technology grants us unprecedented access to peripheral lung nodules, enhancing our ability to detect and combat lung cancer in its earliest stages, ultimately giving our patients a better chance at a healthier future.”