The Royal Preston Hospital has become the first hospital in the UK and just the third centre in the whole of Europe able to diagnose lung cancer using the Lung Vision Navigation System.
Using our charitable funds, we purchased the Lung Vision system for Lancashire Teaching Hospitals’ respiratory team, as the team works alongside consultants on-site at the Rosemere Cancer Centre to treat lung cancer patients from throughout Lancashire and South Cumbria. It cost £237,500 and is one of the world’s most advanced pulmonary navigational software systems.
Lung Vision enables doctors using a bronchoscope (a thin tube-like instrument with a light and a lens for viewing) to examine inside a patient’s lungs in real time, penetrating deeper and reaching areas they were previously unable to reach to take biopsy samples.
Consultant respiratory physician and interventional pulmonologist Professor Mohammed Munavvar, who applied to us for the funding for Lung Vision, explained: “Lung cancer is responsible for 35,000 UK deaths annually.
“To reduce this figure, it is necessary to identify patients with lung cancer at the earliest stage to improve treatment outcomes. Unfortunately, 75% of UK patients already have advanced disease at the time of diagnosis.”
Professor Munavvar continued: “This is partly because of the difficulties involved in diagnosing the disease with patients often needing to undergo multiple biopsies due to the limited diagnostic yield ranges of existing equipment.
“Not only does this create a lot of additional stress for patients in terms of multiple hospital visits and anxiety over having to wait for results, it can more than double the length of time a patient waits for their diagnosis and even a few days or weeks delay can affect lung cancer outcome rates.
“This is why we are so excited about now having Lung Vision. It is one of the safest, most sophisticated, sensitive software, which allows us to see deep inside and reach the most awkward, tricky areas of the lungs to avoid multiple diagnostic tests, including more invasive procedures and the risk of complications they come with.
“It will make a massive difference in terms of speeding up the diagnostic process and improving the chance of diagnosing lung cancer at an earlier stage to enable us to plan targeted personalised treatment. It also prepares the way for us to introduce new, novel ways of treating the disease.”
Professor Munavvar, who was in charge of Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s Covid response during the pandemic, added: “To be the first hospital in the UK able to diagnose patients using Lung Vision is brilliant. Currently, there are just a handful of centres in the US working with it and two centres in Italy. We are extremely grateful to Rosemere Cancer Foundation and all its supporters for enabling us to bring this pioneering software to our Lancashire and South Cumbria patients.”
Dan Hill, Head of Hospital Charities, said: “Our aim has always been to ensure cancer patients in Lancashire and South Cumbria have access to truly world class diagnosis and treatment and through the ambition of colleagues such as Professor Munavvar and the loyalty and generosity of our supporters, we are achieving that.
“Already this year, Rosemere Cancer Foundation has provided the funding for Rosemere Cancer Centre at the Royal Preston Hospital to become the UK’s biggest single site SGRT centre to provide tattoo-free, enhanced radiotherapy treatment. Now we can claim a country and almost a Europe first in delivering Lung Vision.”
Thank you so much to all of our wonderful supporters for helping us raise the money to fund life-saving equipment like this. It really will help to make such a difference for local cancer patients.