Timothy Saettele, MD, interventional pulmonologist at Saint Luke’s Hospital, discusses the benefits of using bronchoscopies in patients with non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
Timothy Saettele, MD, interventional pulmonologist at Saint Luke’s Hospital, discusses the benefits of using bronchoscopies in patients with non—small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
Ten to 15 years ago, advanced bronchoscopic techniques such as endobronchial ultrasound and navigation bronchoscopy were not available. Since then, physicians have gained the ability to see through the walls of the airway with ultrasound technology, to biopsy outside of the airways, and to diagnose lesions in the periphery of the lung.
Now, bronchoscopy has different roles in NSCLC, explains Saettele, but it is most commonly used in diagnosis and staging. When diagnosing and staging patients with NSCLC, bronchoscopy results in several benefits compared with traditional biopsies. For example, previously, 2 procedures were needed to diagnose and stage a mediastinum. Now, with bronchoscopy, a mediastinal staging and subsequent diagnosis of a lung nodule or mass can be done with 1 procedure, says Saettele. This approach also reduces any potential resulting complications that were often seen with the use of a computer tomography-guided needle biopsy, such as pneumothorax.