SPiN Access Catheter services at Penn Highlands

SPiN Access Catheter for the Early Detection of Lung Cancer

SPiN Access Catheter

The pulmonary care specialists at the Lung Center at Penn Highlands Healthcare use the SPiN Access Catheter to perform minimally invasive lung biopsies for patients in central Pennsylvania. Using the SPiN access catheter, our lung doctors can detect lung cancer at smaller, earlier stages when it is most treatable. Most lung cancers aren’t diagnosed until they’re advanced and have spread within the lungs and to other parts of the body. And advanced lung cancer is more difficult to treat than early-stage lung cancer.

How Does the SPiN Access Catheter Work?

The SPiN Access Catheter by Veran Medical Technologies is a specialized lung biopsy device for the early detection of lung cancer. It’s used during a minimally invasive procedure to collect tissue samples to test for cancer in a lab. The catheter, which is inserted into the lungs through the nose or mouth, is equipped with navigation that allows physicians to more easily biopsy lung nodules that are pea-sized and constantly moving due to the motion of the body breathing.

Doctor Photo In Network
Bansal, Sandeep, MD, FCCP, FACP

Critical Care

Internal Medicine

Pulmonary Medicine


Penn Highlands Lung Center - BrookvilleA Service of Penn Highlands DuBois

Penn Highlands Lung Center - ClarionA Service of Penn Highlands DuBois

Penn Highlands Lung Center - ClearfieldA Service of Penn Highlands DuBois

Penn Highlands Lung Center - Huntingdon

Penn Highlands Lung Center - PhilipsburgA Service of Penn Highlands DuBois

Penn Highlands Lung Center - State CollegeA Service of Penn Highlands DuBois

The Lung Center


How does the SPiN Access Catheter detect lung cancer earlier than other methods?

Traditionally, lung cancer is diagnosed after a tumor or lesion is detected on a CT imaging scan, and then a physician performs a surgery to collect a sample of the tumor to test for cancer in a lab. As lung cancer screenings increase and CT images improve, radiologists are seeing more very small lung nodules in patients. But without testing, it can’t be determined if these lung nodules are cancerous or not.

However, collecting a tissue sample from a small nodule that moves as the patient breathes was very difficult, often preventing physicians from diagnosing early lung cancer. The SPiN Access Catheter allows physicians to reach perform lung biopsy when the tumor is as small as a pea.

Who is a candidate for lung biopsy with the SPiN Access Catheter?

According to Veran, 94 million current or former smokers in the U.S. remain at elevated risk for developing lung cancer. More than 8 million of them currently meet the criteria for lung cancer screening. Anyone who meets the following criteria should talk to their doctor about annual lung cancer screening:

  • Individuals between ages 55 and 80 with at least a 30 pack-year smoking history who continue to smoke or have quit smoking less than 15 years ago. One pack-year is equal to smoking one pack (20 cigarettes) per day for a year or two packs per day for six months, etc.
  • Individuals ages 50 and older with at least 20 pack-years and one or more risk factors: long-term exposure to asbestos, asbestos-related lung disease, COPD, pulmonary fibrosis, family history of lung cancer, long-term exposure to silica, cadmium, arsenic, beryllium, chromium, diesel fumes, nickel, coal smoke and soot.

Patients who have abnormal lung cancer screening results will be referred for additional imaging and/or lung biopsy. If you require lung biopsy, talk to your doctor about whether or not you’re eligible for biopsy with the SPiN Access Catheter.

Where is the SPiN Access Catheter lung biopsy performed?

The Lung Center at Penn Highlands Healthcare in Dubois, Penn., was the first pulmonary center in the country to begin using the SPiN Access Catheter for lung biopsy in 2018. This outpatient procedure is performed at Penn Highlands DuBois in the Advance Bronchoscopy Suite, which is used for diagnosing and treating lung disease, including lung cancer.

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