GPS Technology Driving Improved Lung Cancer Treatment at Moffitt Cancer Center

May 12, 2014

TAMPA, Fla. Moffitt Cancer Center is harnessing two new systems to more accurately identify and treat lung cancer, improving patient outcomes. These new electromagnetic navigation bronchoscopy (ENB) systems use GPS-like technology to find lesions, help stage suspicious areas for biopsy, and treat cancer found in the lungs.

The Veran and Covidien (or SuperDimension) systems use 3-D virtual imagery to assist doctors in finding lesions.  Lung cancer can be diagnosed much earlier with both ENB machines because they are able to locate cancers less than a centimeter wide.  The procedure is minimally invasive and helps doctors establish a treatment plan to help reduce patient anxiety and improve cancer outcomes.

Both ENB systems reduce the risk of a collapsed lung during a biopsy, avoiding complications that can lead to treatment delays.

“This technology will help me find smaller and deeper lung nodules while lessening the impact to the patient,” said Eric Toloza, M.D., Ph.D., one of just three surgeons in Florida using the Covidien system. “The ENB system minimizes the risks and difficulties in finding small lung cancers, which means more people who feel they are at risk for lung cancer can be screened and have a quicker recovery.”

Toloza uses the SuperDimension machine in the operating room for fiducial marker placement to help guide robotic surgery.

Both systems lessen risks associated with a biopsy, reduce radiation exposure, and limit the impact to the patient’s breathing during and after the procedure. The ENB systems minimize risks associated with screening for patients with benign nodules who want the peace of mind of ruling out cancer.

Both models allow doctors to conduct biopsies under conscious sedation without the need for hospital admission with less risk for complications.

“Electromagnetic navigation bronchoscopy will aid with the early diagnosis and management of lung and other thoracic abnormalities,” said Frank Kaszuba, M.D. “It brings real-time, less invasive, GPS-guided biopsies to the forefront among strategies to diagnose and manage the smaller indeterminate pulmonary nodules or abnormalities.”

Kaszuba uses the Veran system to locate smaller nodules in the lung for diagnostic purposes.  By using this technique, he is able to get to nodules outside of the airways.

Moffitt has been using both systems since November. The technology will play an important role in Moffitt’s Lung Cancer Screening and Surveillance Program, enabling clinicians to diagnosis smaller nodules identified by low-dose CT scans.

For more information about Veran, visit:

For more information about superDimension, visit:

About Moffitt Cancer Center
Located in Tampa, Moffitt is one of only 41 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers, a distinction that recognizes Moffitt’s excellence in research, its contributions to clinical trials, prevention and cancer control. Moffitt is the No. 1 cancer hospital in Florida and has been listed in U.S. News & World Report as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” for cancer since 1999. With more than 4,200 employees, Moffitt has an economic impact on the state of nearly $2 billion. For more information, visit, and follow the Moffitt momentum on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.