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New System for Lung Cancer Diagnosis Utilized at Saint Mary's Center for Cancer

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Advanced technology from Olympus enables physicians todiagnoseand stage lung cancer and sample peripheral pulmonary nodules using nonsurgical means

RENO, Nev. – Thursday, June 5, 2014 – Saint Mary's Center for Cancer has acquired the Olympus EBUS system to perform both EBUS - TBNA (endobronchial ultrasound transbronchial needle aspiration) and radial EBUS. The latest American College of Chest Physicians Lung Cancer ACCP Guidelines recognize EBUS-TBNA as the leading technology for lung cancer staging of the chest activity and radial EBUS as an adjunct imaging modality for peripheral nodules. Using radial EBUS can confirm in real time, the ideal location for sampling peripheral nodules to help increase the diagnosis of cancer.

"We take pride in being able to offer our patients the latest technology and innovation for diagnosing cancers and other diseases of the airway and lungs," says Faisal Ahmad, MD who is a leading pulmonologist at Saint Mary's Lung Center of Excellence. "The EBUS system allows us to provide patients with a nonsurgical solution for sampling lymph nodes and lesions for faster, accurate diagnosis and staging of lung cancer."

Up until now, the gold standard for lung cancer diagnosis was mediastinoscopy, a surgical procedure. Now EBUS-TBNA offers a minimally invasive solution that delivers equally reliable results. EBUS-TBNA uses a bronchoscope equipped with ultrasound capabilities to see beyond the walls of the airways and detect the precise location of lymph nodes. EBUS-TBNA technology allows a physician to visually guide the needle in real-time to the intended site to obtain a sample.

For peripheral bronchoscopy, radial EBUS enables physicians to more accurately sample lesions in the periphery of the lungs that are beyond the reach of a bronchoscope. Radial EBUS involves inserting a small ultrasound probe down the bronchoscope. When the scope is in the correct position, the probe is withdrawn and a biopsy sampling device is inserted down the scope to collect tissue samples for biopsy. The real-time visual confirmation of the scope's position relative to the target lesion using radial EBUS is proven to help physicians increase the diagnostic yield during sampling.

According to Lung Cancer Alliance data, lung cancer is the leading cause of all cancer-related deaths in the United States among every ethnic group, taking more lives than breast, prostate and colon cancers combined. Unfortunately, only fifteen percent of lung cancer is diagnosed at its earliest and most curable stage, and more than fifty-five percent of cases are diagnosed after the cancer has metastasized. In 2011, the National Lung Screening Trial found a mortality benefit of at least twenty percent in long-term smokers who underwent annual low-dose CT screening and new recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force now call for more proactive lung cancer screening of long-term smokers, with the goal of identifying lung cancer at an earlier stage.

"Saint Mary's collaborates with physicians by listening to our needs and keeping pace with trends in medicine that benefit our patients," says Steve K. Mashour, MD who is also a leading pulmonologist at Saint Mary's Lung Center of Excellence. "Their investment in this technology will prove to be of great benefit to patients in this region."

EBUS-TBNA and radial EBUS are proven modalities for helping physicians diagnose and stage lung cancer and diagnose other pulmonary diseases. Both provide patients with a convenient, minimally invasive diagnostic procedure that can be performed on an outpatient basis.

By acquiring advanced technologies such as the Olympus EBUS system, Saint Mary's Center for Cancer is able to offer premier care for its patients. For more information about Saint Mary's diagnostic tools for lung cancer, call 775-770-7410 or visit


Saint Mary's Regional Medical Center

Saint Mary's Regional Medical Center based in Reno, Nev. is a 380-bed acute care hospital offering inpatient, outpatient and wellness services. Nationally recognized and accredited by the Joint Commission, Saint Mary's offers a robust line of services including a top-rated Center for Cancer featuring the region's only CyberKnife radiosurgery delivery system, state-of-the-art William N. Pennington Emergency Room and Senior ER and a Cardiology program dedicated to long-term wellness. The health system also operates a fully-integrated Medical Group and a state-of-the-art Center for Health & Fitness. As a long-standing community partner, Saint Mary's is dedicated to ensuring the health and wellness of northern Nevada remains strong. For more information, visit