Using an advanced microscope, physicians at Silver Cross Hospital are now performing optical biopsies during endoscopic procedures to diagnose cancerous tissue in real time. Silver Cross is only the second hospital (first non-teaching hospital) in Illinois to perform confocal endomicroscopy using new technology known as Cellvizio. The result is a faster, more precise diagnosis and treatment of gastrointestinal cancer and other diseases.
“Until now, if we found suspicious tissue during a diagnostic procedure, we had to take a sample and send it to the laboratory for analysis, which can take up to a week,” said Kamran Ayub, M.D., gastroenterologist and medical director of the Advanced Endoscopy Center at Silver Cross Hospital. “With Cellvizio, we can locate the dangerous tissue during the initial endoscopic procedure and remove or treat it the same day.”
Dr. Ayub and the team at Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox are using this advanced technology to more accurately differentiate cancerous and pre-cancerous tissue during colonoscopies, upper endoscopies, and the standard pancreatic and bile duct cancer detection procedures. They also use Cellvizio endomicroscopy to catch and treat gastrointestinal cancers and other diseases including those in the colon, bile duct, pancreas and esophagus. In some cases, physicians have been able to perform minimally invasive treatments for conditions that traditionally required major surgical operations because of the microscopic view generated for an improved understanding of the tissue.
World’s smallest microscope allows for immediate treatment
The new tool is a very small confocal laser microscope that sits at the end of a long, thin flexible tube. The instrument is threaded through a traditional endoscope into the complex anatomy of the pancreas, bile ducts and other related tissues. The microscope detects fluorescent light triggered by a laser. A filter removes the laser light, allowing the fluorescent light to pass through a small aperture. The light then hits a photo detector that converts the image to electronic signals. The data then goes to a computer that displays the images on duals screens in one of the four Endoscopy suites in Silver Cross Hospital’s Procedural Care Unit. One image from the microscope is worth 1,000 biopsies and can determine objects about half the diameter of a single hair.
“I can immediately see cells up close and decide whether the next step of major surgery is necessary. Often, I can treat the patient on the spot,” says Dr. Ayub.
The technology is also used for monitoring patients with Barrett’s esophagus, a condition where there is an abnormal growth of intestinal-type cells in the lower esophagus.
Cellvizio is has been approved by the Food & Drug Administration for use in gastrointestinal tract and lungs and has a proven safety record with no adverse events reported in thousands of cases worldwide.
For a referral to a physician who performs Cellvizio endomicroscopy at Silver Cross Hospital, visit www.silvercross.org/advancedendocenter or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).