New Technology Could Help Detect Lung Cancer

New Technology Could Help Detect Lung CancerWake Forest Baptist Health is the first academic medical center in the United States to deploy a new technology to manage and track patients with incidental pulmonary nodules. The recently FDA approved technology, Optellum Virtual Nodule Clinic, uses artificial intelligence to assist pulmonologists and radiologists in detecting and tracking suspicious lung nodules that may be or may become cancerous. 

The interventional pulmonary program at Wake Forest Baptist has expert pulmonologists and radiologists equipped with leading-edge technologies to care for lung patients. The lung cancer screening program is a Screening Center of Excellence, one of only a handful nationwide. The Comprehensive Cancer Center has National Cancer Institute (NCI) designation, one of only 51 nationwide. Wake Forest Baptist annually assesses over 500 patients with pulmonary nodules for possible lung cancer.

Lung cancer kills more people than any other cancer because most lung cancers are not diagnosed until symptoms appear or when the disease has progressed to an advanced stage.
The current five-year survival rate is 20% for late-stage diagnosis. However, the survival rate for small tumors detected and treated at an early stage is up to a 90% five-year survival. 

“We are proud to be an early adopter of proven technologies that enable our clinicians to identify and treat lung cancer are early stages when survival opportunities are high,” said Christina Bellinger, MD, and Director of the Interventional Pulmonary Program at Wake Forest Baptist. “The exciting part of Optellum’s artificial intelligence lung cancer prediction tool is that it augments decision-making, helping doctors intervene sooner and treat more lung cancers at an earlier stage.”