Health First has a new weapon in the fight against lung cancer. In December, Health First Medical Group’s Dr. Theodore Amgott completed the first two procedures in Brevard County using state-of-the-art Electromagnetic Navigation Bronchoscopy (ENB) at Health First’s Holmes Regional Medical Center. ENB is used to reach parts of the lung that previously were unreachable and unseeable with traditional bronchoscopy.
According to Amgott, not only does it allow access to distant areas of the lung, but it helps identify the stage of the cancer and the genetic characteristics of the lesion.
“With regular bronchoscopy, we really only had access to central parts of the lung. We really didn’t have any way to guide the (scope) to the smaller (bronchial tubes) and harder to reach areas,” said Amgott, who studied pulmonology at Duke University. “There was no way to navigate it. With ENB, we have a guidance system with something called LungGPS technology that works very much like the GPS in your car…. Basically, the patient is placed on a board that generates an electromagnetic field, and the result is like a high-resolution roadmap of the lung. This helps us direct the bronchoscope to where it is needed.”
The minimally invasive procedure helps lessen the risks and discomforts associated with more extensive surgeries and biopsies.
“It has its greatest effects in the detection of early-stage lung cancers and it also helps rule out lesions that may be benign,” said Dr. Lee Scheinbart, who practices internal medicine and oncology and is medical director of Health First Cancer Institute. “Previously, a patient may have had major surgery to see what was wrong. We are very pleased that in our first two cases, we were able to diagnose early-stage cancers we may not have been able to see otherwise, and therefore, it was easier to determine treatment.”
Funding for the specialized equipment was provided by the 2015 Health First Foundation Benefit Ball, which raised more than $451,000 for Health First Cancer Institute and the ENB.