Amsterdam, the Netherlands – Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA), a global leader in health technology, today introduced Azurion Lung Edition, an advanced 3D imaging and navigation platform to accelerate the diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer. The suite combines CT-like 3D images acquired at the tableside (Cone Beam CT) with live X-ray guidance and advanced tools to support image-guided lung procedures. The system is designed specifically for bronchoscopy procedures, enabling clinicians to perform both minimally invasive endobronchial biopsies and lesion ablation during the same procedure. By speeding diagnosis and treatment, Azurion Lung Edition is helping to transform lung cancer care, contributing to dramatically improved outcomes and reduced costs.
Each year 1.7 million people die worldwide of lung cancer, making it the leading cause of cancer deaths globally  and accounting for more loss of life than breast, colon and prostate cancer combined. Today, over 60% of patients are diagnosed at a late stage, with a small chance of a surgical cure. But thanks to a rise in the number of lung cancer screening programs and increasing patient awareness, a growing proportion of patients have small peripheral lesions that are operable.
In addition to early diagnosis, fast treatment is critical to ensure better outcomes and quality of life for lung cancer patients, with every week of delay resulting in a 5% increase in mortality . Today, most patients face a long journey to a definitive diagnosis and they often undergo a painful recovery after open surgery. Cone Beam CT is seen as the gold standard for clinicians to both diagnose and treat lung cancer in one room, and even during the same procedure.
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"This is a very exciting time in the world of interventional pulmonology and advanced bronchoscopy," said Dr. Michael Pritchett, pulmonary and critical care physician, Director, Chest Center of the Carolinas, FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital, Pinehurst Medical Clinic, U.S. "One of the things that we're particularly excited about is being able to diagnose patients, stage their cancer and treat them, all in a single procedure. As a diagnostic bronchoscopist it's exciting and rewarding to be able not only to diagnose patients, but to go on to treat them as well."
"Lung cancer is one of the most aggressive forms of cancer, and we need innovative technology to fight back," said Dr. Gustavo Cumbo-Nacheli, Director of Bronchoscopy and Interventional Pulmonology at Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S. "Without a Cone Beam CT scan to confirm placement of the biopsy needle, repeat procedures are often necessary. And by combining Cone Beam CT with other technologies, including robotics, we will be able to go beyond biopsy and treat the patient."