UMC’s advanced lung cancer detection technology saves lives.
UMC’s advanced lung cancer detection technology saves lives.

As the first hospital in Nevada to introduce the cutting-edge SuperDimension Electromagnetic Navigation Bronchoscopy system, UMC continues to demonstrate its commitment to providing patients with advanced technology designed to save and improve lives.

This technology plays a critical role in UMC’s lung cancer screening program, known as the SPOTS (Screening for Pulmonary Oncologic Tumor Services) Program), a collaborative effort between UMC and the University of Nevada School of Medicine.

Utilizing lung GPS technology that allows physicians to safely reach virtually any area of the lung to collect tissue samples, the SuperDimension system plays a critical role in promoting the early detection and immediate treatment of lung cancer. During the minimally invasive, outpatient SuperDimension procedure, a pathologist remains on standby to analyze the biopsy sample, often resulting in an immediate diagnosis.

The SPOTS program typically begins with the patient receiving a low-dose CT scan to detect nodules and other potential abnormalities within the lungs. If the low-dose CT scan reveals suspected cancer, pulmonologists at UMC have a number of minimally invasive options for collecting tissue samples, including the SuperDimension Electromagnetic Navigation Bronchoscopy. In certain cases when there are signs that the cancer has started to spread within the chest, UMC also offers Endobronchial Ultrasound Bronchoscopy (EBUS) which allows thorough diagnosis and staging while still avoiding an invasive surgical procedure.

Offering a highly coordinated, multidisciplinary team of specialists representing pulmonology, thoracic surgery, medical and radiation oncology, pathology and radiology, the SPOTS Program serves as a valuable asset to lung cancer patients and the local health care community as a whole. In an effort to reduce the time to diagnosis, the program is committed to seeing patients within a week from the time of referral.

“As a result of this valuable program, we are finding cancer earlier and saving lives throughout the community,” said Dr. Arthur Oliver Romero, who serves as Co-Director of the SPOTS Program alongside Dr. Hidenobu Shigemitsu. “The patients really appreciate that they have a central resource and trusted advocates for their cancer care.”

The SPOTS Program is designed to promote improved outcomes for community members considered to be at a high risk for developing lung cancer. This high-risk group includes people ages 55 to 80 who smoked more than a pack of cigarettes per day for 30 or more years and are either actively smoking or quit smoking within the past 15 years. Patients who meet these three criteria are encouraged to meet with their primary care providers to discuss receiving a lung cancer screening with a low-dose CT scan of the chest.

For more information about the SPOTS program, please call 702-NOSPOTS.

Photo: Dr. Arthur Oliver Romero demonstrates the three-dimensional mapping of the lungs provided by the SuperDimension Electromagnetic Navigation Bronchoscopy system at UMC.


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