How New Technology Diagnoses Lung Cancer Earlier So Patients Can Start Treatment Sooner
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It’s easy to understand how a suspicion of lung cancer can be overwhelming. That’s why we’re proud to use the latest technologies to help our patients get answers, and treatment, sooner.


Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths for both men and women and is often associated with grim statistics, including a five-year survival rate of just 18.6% in some circumstances.

Here’s the good news: When cancer is localized within the lungs, the five-year survival rate jumps to 56%. That’s because lung cancer is highly treatable in its early stages. The key is detecting and diagnosing the cancer as early as possible–-that’s where advanced technology comes in.

MedStar Washington Hospital Center is on the leading edge of diagnosing suspected lung cancer earlier for our patients. We were among the first Mid-Atlantic hospitals to have the innovative—and potentially lifesaving— Monarch™ Auris Robotic Bronchoscopy technology

Monarch’s advanced technology allows our specialists to perform lung procedures that aren’t possible through traditional methods, like sampling multiple nodules on both sides of the lung in one session. 

These enhancements significantly improve interventional pulmonology and our approach to lung nodules, and that means patients have the potential to get answers faster, starting the treatment journey sooner and building the foundation for a better outcome.

How Monarch gets answers faster.

Pulmonary nodules can be miniscule, especially early on. In fact, they can sometimes be too small to biopsy using traditional methods that only offer manual controls and electromagnetic guidance.

When a biopsy can’t be performed, patients are left with the emotional burden of waiting for a nodule to grow. That stress can quickly take a psychological toll. Monarch technology has helped change that.


The GPS-like scope of Monarch allows pulmonologists to reach deep into the lungs’ small airways to better access even the tiniest nodule or lesion with greater accuracy. The technology allows them to control direction through multiple methods—from electromagnetic inputs, to views of the actual airways, to integrated CT imaging and directional cues—all while maintaining a constant visual on the suspicious lung spot. 

This ability to go deeper lets us target and biopsy lung nodules sooner, boosting the odds of an early lung cancer diagnosis that could help save a life.

Plus, Monarch’s endoscopic robot creates more stability, unlike traditional manual bronchoscopy. Its technology never loses sight of the target, even nodules that are only fractions of an inch. The movement of breathing lungs during the procedure doesn’t sway the scope—it won’t need to relocate or find a lost target, which can sometimes happen during manual bronchoscopy.

When it’s time to deploy an instrument for a tissue sample, we lock Monarch’s position and it stays put while we biopsy the nodule during that session.

Related reading: Lung Cancer in Never-Smokers: Treatment Options When It’s Caught Early.

Start lung cancer treatment sooner.

With Monarch, patients could leave the procedure knowing what—if any—lung cancer they’re facing because the technology can both biopsy and stage the sample to determine how far the disease may have progressed.

Monarch’s deep reach, greater accuracy, and robotic technologies mean less risk and more answers for patients and their families and eliminates grueling weeks of waiting for traditional test results.

When we learn exactly what we’re facing in one session, we can accelerate to the next phase of lung cancer treatment sooner, whether that’s thoracic surgery, radiation oncology, or another option.

We take a collaborative, multidisciplinary approach to lung care at MedStar Washington and the Monarch bronchoscopy tool is one platform that supports our compassionate, team-based patient care. From doctors to techs, nursing to anesthesia, radiology to pathology—we’re all here to get patients the early answers and care they need for the best possible lung cancer outcome.

Our experts provide leading lung cancer care.

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