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First-in-Canada technology helps cancer specialists to better detect lung cancer

January 15, 2013

Found in News

Vancouver – Lung cancer specialists at the BC Cancer Agency now have access to a three-dimensional navigation system that can enhance diagnosis, staging and care for lung cancer patients in BC.

The BC Cancer Foundation-funded equipment is the first of its kind to be used in Canada and is newly-installed at the BC Cancer Agency’s Vancouver Centre.

“This technology acts as a GPS, providing clear turn-by-turn guidance through the patient’s lung, leading us directly to the tumour,” says Dr. Stephen Lam, Chair, Provincial Lung Tumour Group, BC Cancer Agency. “This new system will improve the accuracy of bronchoscopy procedures from 30 to 80 per cent for small lesions in the lung that are traditionally very difficult to biopsy.”

The technology converts two-dimensional images from a Computerized Tomography (CT scan) into three-dimensional graphics that guide the respirologist through a bronchoscopy procedure, directly to the suspect tumour. The mapping system is particularly beneficial in procedures where the tumour is less than two centimeters and located in the periphery of the lung.

Previously, oncologists would refer to a two-dimensional image highlighting the tumour’s location from a patient’s CT scan. 

With the new three-dimensional images, care providers will also be better equipped to plan for radiation therapy and surgical procedures with specific markers indicating the cancer’s location. 

BC Cancer Foundation donors provided $600,000 to acquire the new LungPoint system in addition to other state-of-the-art equipment in the newly renovated Endoscopy Suite.

“Lung cancer experts at the BC Cancer Agency identified a new technology that would truly enhance patient care and BC Cancer Foundation donors answered that call ensuring patients continue to receive the best care possible,” said Douglas Nelson, President & CEO, BC Cancer Foundation. “Their generosity will directly improve lung cancer detection and diagnosis in BC.”


Editors note: Video b-roll and photos available.

For more information or to arrange an interview contact:
Patrick Blennerhassett 
Communications Officer
Provincial Health Services Authority
Media pager: 604-871-5699

Allison Colina
Communications Specialist
BC Cancer Foundation

The BC Cancer Agency, an agency of the Provincial Health Services Authority, is committed to reducing the incidence of cancer, reducing the mortality from cancer, and improving the quality of life of those living with cancer. It provides a comprehensive cancer control program for the people of British Columbia by working with community partners to deliver a range of oncology services, including prevention, early detection, diagnosis and treatment, research, education, supportive care, rehabilitation and palliative care. www.bccancer.ca.

The BC Cancer Foundation is the bridge that connects philanthropic support and research breakthroughs in cancer knowledge. As the fundraising partner of the BC Cancer Agency and the largest charitable funder of cancer research in this province, we enable donors to make contributions to leading-edge research that has a direct impact on improvements to cancer care for patients in British Columbia. We fund with the goal of finding solutions. Visit www.bccancerfoundation.com to make a donation or to learn how you can make a difference in the lives of those affected by cancer.