Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in developed countries, placing pulmonologists on the front lines in the war against cancer. The D-Light AF Bronchoscopy System offers physicians a valuable addition to their armamentarium in the fight against lung cancer. They will have an opportunity to offer very early diagnosis and, consequently, early treatment and an improved prognosis for many patients.
"The new AF system from Karl Storz provides pulmonologists with an important tool, enhancing their ability to detect and locate abnormal lung tissue suspicious for lung cancer", according to Armin Ernst MD, Director of Interventional Pulmonology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts, who served as a principal investigator in clinical trials of the D-Light AF Bronchoscopy System.
Bronchoscopy is commonly performed in an outpatient setting with a local anaesthetic and a mild sedative to help the patient relax. The flexible bronchoscope, a pencil-thin fiberoptic endoscope that allows visualization of the bronchial system, is passed gently through the patient's nose or mouth, then through the trachea and into the lower airways of the lungs for direct visualization and possible biopsy of suspect tissue. The D-Light AF System easily switches between white light (WL) and AF mode to differentiate suspect areas from normal tissue.
In a multicentre United States clinical trial involving 300 patients and 821 evaluable biopsies, clinical investigators assessed the sensitivity and specificity of both WL and AF examination in identifying lesions requiring biopsy for histological examination. The sensitivity of the AF mode to detect histologically positive biopsies was shown to increase six-fold over conventional WL bronchoscopy.
"This innovative technology provides both hospitals and physicians with the ability to use AF technology, combined with chest x-ray or spiral CT scanning, to provide a more complete examination for early detection of lung cancer, even before high-risk patients become symptomatic", noted Jay Houser, Director of Marketing, Karl Storz Endoscopy. "The Karl Storz system allows for both standard (WL) bronchoscopy and AF bronchoscopy in a single cost-effective system. A number of key United States hospitals that were involved in the clinical trials are already incorporating the use of AF bronchoscopy in early-detection protocols in order to provide maximum detection technologies for patients. AF provides a reliable early-detection method beyond X-ray and CT scan, and cutting-edge hospitals want to provide this for superior evaluation of potential malignancies", Jay Houser added.
Karl Storz Endoscopy-America Inc. is an affiliate of Karl Storz GmbH & Co. KG, an international expert for almost 60 years in reusable endoscope technology, encompassing all endoscopic specialities. Based in Tuttlingen, Germany, Karl Storz GmbH & Co. KG is a family-owned company that designs, engineers, manufactures and markets all its products with an emphasis on visionary design, precision craftsmanship and clinical effectiveness. More news on the company can be found in the VMW November 2003 article Siemens' syngoOR software platform to seamlessly integrate with Karl Storz' OR1 solution