Comprehensive Lung Program Provides Opportunity to Screen and Diagnose Early-Stage Lung Cancer When It’s Most Treatable

MountainView Hospital has launched a new procedure to aid in the detection of lung cancer with the use of the ION robotic-assisted bronchoscopy platform. This minimally invasive procedure extends the reach of the bronchoscope deep into all 18 segments of the lungs – often difficult in traditional bronchoscopy – in order to sample and detect lung cancer sooner.

Dr. Vishisht Mehta Operates New Technology at MountainView Hospital.

The new procedure compliments MountainView Hospital’s Incidental Lung Nodule Detection program. Through this program, the hospital is using innovative technology to detect suspicious lung nodules by analyzing CT exams that were performed as part of routine care, for the presence of incidental lung nodules which could represent a malignancy. Nurse navigators then reach out personally to patients to ensure continued follow up care, and treatment if needed.

Additionally, as part of the multidisciplinary platform focused on early-stage cancer detection, MountainView Hospital offers a Low Dose CT Lung Screen Program for proactive identification and treatment of at-risk patients.

Robotic-assisted bronchoscopy uses an ultra-thin catheter and integrated vision probe that provides the physician direct vision to reach all parts of the lung. The catheter can move 180 degrees in all directions and the biopsy needle is flexible. Additionally, shape-sensing technology provides precise location and shape information throughout the whole biopsy process.

A lung biopsy is normally done when a small mass or nodule is discovered. A physician will often monitor the nodule, although sometimes a lung biopsy is ordered when it is a suspicious nodule. Biopsy involves obtaining a tissue sample from the suspicious area and examining the cells under a microscope to determine if cancer or another disease is present.

Dr. Vishisht Mehta of Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada (CCCN) was the first physician to use the new robotic device at MountainView for patient biopsies. Dr. Sapna Bhatia and Dr. George Tu of CCCN also perform robotic-assisted bronchoscopic lung biopsies at MountainView Hospital. Dr. Arnold Chung, cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon with MountainView Cardiovascular Surgery also will utilize the robotic device for biopsies.

“Being able to offer a new approach for lung biopsies is an important part of detecting lung cancer early allowing better outcomes for patients,” said Julie Taylor, MountainView Hospital chief executive officer. “We hope this, combined with our lung nodule biopsy detection program and our low-dose CT screenings will positively impact lung cancer survival rates in our community.”