Baptist Pairs Two Different Types of Technology to Track Down Lung Cancer

Friday, May 30, 2014

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Baptist Medical Center in Jackson, Miss. has invested in a new technology known as the superDimension™ System. This Electromagnetic Navigation Bronchoscopy uses GPS-like technology to locate, biopsy and prepare to treat lesions deep within the lung. Paired with Baptist's CyberKnife, which provides "knifeless surgery" to remove lesions, physicians can use minimally invasive techniques in every stage of diagnosis and treatment of certain lung cancers.

The superDimension machine provides physicians a minimally invasive way to diagnose benign and malignant tumors in difficult-to-reach areas of the lungs. It may minimize the need for more invasive, surgical procedures. It also gives physicians a tool for earlier detection of lung cancer, increasing a patient's options for treatment.

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Physicians can use superDimension technology to place markers, called fiducials, within the lung at the site of the cancer. This is followed by "knifeless surgery" using CyberKnife technology. Fiducials allow the CyberKnife machine to track the position of a tumor, moving with each breath of the patient, throughout treatment. Baptist is the only hospital in Mississippi pairing the superDimension technology with CyberKnife radiosurgery for treatment of lung cancer patients.

"The advantage of using the CyberKnife® System to treat lung cancer patients is for those who cannot tolerate surgery, have an inoperable tumor, or are seeking an alternative to surgery," added Baptist Thoracic Surgeon A. Michael Koury, MD. "The challenge that doctors face with tumors in the lung is those tumors move as the patient breathes. The CyberKnife System precisely identifies the tumor location as the patient breathes normally during treatment and can be used, in some cases, to treat lung tumors non-invasively."

The procedure is typically performed in an outpatient setting and its unique approach may increase the chances a patient will safely get a diagnosis and begin treatment, if needed. Not all lung lesions are cancerous; however if the lesion is cancerous, earlier diagnosis and treatment may increase the chance that patients live longer.

"We are pleased to be able to offer our patients a technology that extends the reach of a standard bronchoscope and potentially offers more conclusive diagnoses. Before, patients experiencing symptoms of lung disease or those who have suspected lesions could be examined and treated with standard bronchoscopy, needle aspiration, or surgery." said Dr. Koury. "It's so much easier on the patient and gives us the ability to zero in on targeted areas in the lungs with great precision." 

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