Franciscan Health Crown Point advances lung cancer program with Ion robotic bronchoscopy

Franciscan Health Crown Point advances lung cancer program with Ion robotic bronchoscopy

Patients in Crown Point will have the potential for earlier lung cancer diagnosis, thanks to the new Ion robotic bronchoscopy platform recently installed at Franciscan Health Crown Point.

According to the American Cancer Society, more patients die from lung cancer annually than breast cancer, colon cancer and prostate cancer combined, accounting for around 25 percent of all cancer deaths. However, when diagnosed in the earliest stages, the five-year survival rate for lung cancer is 92 percent.

“Robotic bronchoscopy will give many patients the opportunity to get that early, life-saving diagnosis,” said Giovanni Infusino, MD, pulmonologist with Franciscan Physician Network Crown Point Internal Medicine and Specialty Center. “Intricate and narrow segments in the lung often make it difficult or unsafe to obtain a biopsy of a nodule. This new technology provides a minimally invasive option for patients who otherwise would have been told to ‘watch and wait.’”

The Ion robotic-assisted bronchoscopy allows an ultra-thin catheter to pass through the airways to the farthest segments of the lung. Once the nodule is located, the catheter locks in place and biopsy tools in the catheter take a lung tissue sample. A camera allows the physician to view and navigate the catheter through the airways.

“The Ion can rotate 180 degrees, providing flexibility that allows us to reach all 18 segments of the lung,” said Jason Fitzgerald, MD, thoracic surgeon with Cardiac Surgery Associates. “This is critical, because up to 70 percent of lung nodules are found in the most distant regions of the lung.”

“This radical technology combined with the da Vinci robot gives our multidisciplinary lung cancer team at Franciscan Health Crown Point the most comprehensive and minimally invasive options to our patients in the region,” said Dr. Michael Tuchek, DO, thoracic surgeon with Cardiac Surgery Associates.

Dr. Infusino, Dr. Fitzgerald and Dr. Tuchek are part of a team of physicians who received specialized training on the Ion robotic technology at Franciscan Health Crown Point.

“The Ion robotic bronchoscopy platform is the perfect complement to our already robust lung cancer program,” said Daniel McCormick, MD, president and CEO of Franciscan Health Crown Point. “This new technology is not only important as we continue to provide exceptional patient care, but also as we support our extraordinary team of physicians, which strives to offer leading-edge screening and treatment options.”

The comprehensive lung cancer care at Franciscan Health Burrell Cancer Center Crown Point includes:

•           Genomic/molecular testing to determine a personalized treatment plan including immunotherapy options

•           Targeted radiation therapy using the highly precise SBRT treatments when surgery is not an option that delivers better accuracy, faster treatment times, and safe, low-dose imaging

•           Minimally invasive robotic surgery

•           Early detection with robotic bronchoscopy

•           Dedicated lung cancer nurse navigation

•           $49 lung and heart screening program

More information on Franciscan Health Burrell Cancer Center Crown Point is available at