Morton Plant and St. Anthony's Hospitals Use GPS-like Technology to Help Find Early Stages of Lung Cancer

February 10, 2014
Morton Plant and St. Anthony’s Hospitals Use GPS-like Technology to Help Find Early Stages of Lung Cancer

Physicians Can Better “Navigate” the Lungs

CLEARWATER & ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., (Feb. 10, 2014) - Two BayCare hospitals, Morton Plant and St. Anthony’s, are using GPS-like technology to help locate and biopsy lung tumors potentially leading to improved diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer.

Called Electromagnetic Navigation Bronchoscopy (ENB), the procedure helps physicians navigate the lungs by combining GPS-like technology with a catheter-based system to access lesions on the lung that can be hard to reach. 

“ENB extends the reach of the bronchoscope to regions deep within the lung. We can then find smaller lung lesions located deep in the lung for diagnostic testing and potential treatment without making an incision in the chest,” said John Masson, MD, Morton Plant Hospital pulmonogist.

Typically a patient with a spot on their lung has the options of major surgery to remove a section of the lung, bronchosocpy (which does not reach lesions deep in the lung), needle biopsy, or watchful waiting.

The lung navigation creates a 3D reconstruction of the lungs and creates a “map,” allowing the physician to find lesions that previously would have been difficult to reach and treat. “Ideally, we can reach smaller lesions earlier and with a less invasive procedure. This means we can find lung cancer in the early stages, thereby giving patients a better opportunity for curative treatment,” said St. Anthony’s Hospital pulmonologist Vinny Samuel, MD.

Most patients treated with the lung navigation technology go home the same day with minimal discomfort. Some patients experience a mild sore throat, hoarseness, or cough following the procedure.

According to the American Cancer Society, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women. Each year, more people die of lung cancer than of colon, breast, and prostate cancers combined. The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2013, lung cancer deaths in both men and women will account for approximately 27 percent of all cancer deaths.

About BayCare Health System
BayCare Health System is a leading community-based health system in the Tampa Bay area. Composed of a network of 11 not-for-profit hospitals, outpatient facilities and services such as imaging, lab, behavioral health and home health care, BayCare provides expert medical care throughout a patient’s lifetime. With more than 200 access points conveniently located throughout Tampa Bay, BayCare connects patients to a complete range of preventive, diagnostic and treatment services for any health care need. 

BayCare’s family of hospitals are: Mease Countryside, Mease Dunedin, Morton Plant, Morton Plant North Bay, St. Anthony’s, St. Joseph’s, St. Joseph’s Children’s, St. Joseph’s Hospital-North, St. Joseph’s Women’s, South Florida Baptist, and Winter Haven. For more information, visit BayCare on the Web at