Medical City Dallas
March 11, 2022

Minimally invasive technology enables earlier lung cancer diagnosis

Dallax, TX – Medical City Dallas is now utilizing a minimally invasive technological robot to diagnose lung cancer in the hopes of detecting the disease earlier and saving more lives.

The robot features an ultra-thin, easily maneuverable catheter that moves 180 degrees in all directions, which doctors can navigate through tiny, twisting and turning airways to reach nodules in any airway segment within the lung. The robot's flexible biopsy needle passes through very tight bends via the catheter to collect tissue in the peripheral lung. It enables a more precise biopsy and a more effortless surgical experience.

"We can now access the natural airways of the lung, so there is no puncturing of the lung tissue from the outside lining of the lung," says John Lazenby, MD, chief medical officer of Medical City Dallas. "This is a safer way to approach lesions in the periphery of the lung of advanced lung disease patients."

The robot accesses difficult lung areas through natural openings, like the mouth. When used for lung cancer screening, it supports early diagnosis by sampling tissue from small nodules in hard-to-reach lung areas where previous tools and procedures were unable to reach.

"Lung cancer therapy and treatment has advanced immensely over the past 10 to 15 years. Minimally invasive techniques like this now allow patients to go home in two to three days,” says Chris Mowan, chief executive officer of Medical City Dallas. “This minimally invasive technology will catch lung cancer in its early stages and help us care for and improve more human lives."

Before this advancement, the preferred method to reach abnormal spots in the periphery of the lung was to use a live CT scan image and a needle, entering the chest wall and lung from outside the body. This method presented a higher risk of injuring the lung tissue and causing the lung to collapse for some patients who had advanced lung disease with emphysema.

Together with the Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute, the Medical City Dallas network of lung cancer specialists offer comprehensive care for all types of lung cancer. Learn more: