Dr. Arthur Oliver Romero, a UNLV pharmacist, received advanced training in the use of Ion, a robot-assisted biopsy platform at the University Medical Center.
He may have saved his life with him in June.
Romero used ION to diagnose a patient with primary lung cancer. In the hard-to-reach wound, the testicles were collected with a robotic bronchoscope and this information was given to the surgeon. In less than two weeks, the patient underwent surgery to remove the tumor.
“That patient with lung cancer is now gone,” Romero said. We have extracted information before it was available.
IMC is the only hospital in the state that uses ION. The system offers new accuracy standards compared to manual biopsy techniques. It has a very thin, easily controlled catheter that can bend 180 degrees in all directions. To reach the nodes in any airway, doctors can use a catheter to examine the lungs. It is more accurate and safer for patients.
Lung cancer is a major cause of cancer and is one of four cancers. More than 130,000 people die of lung cancer each year, compared with the death toll from colon, breast, and prostate cancer.
Romero attended the three-year post-graduate pulmonary care association in San Francisco, Frederno, California, from lung cancer. He developed advanced biopsy techniques in Nevada, but he knew that there were many patients who needed a higher standard of care.
With the support of UNVV, in 2019, a one-year Advanced Fellowship returned to the USSF to learn small invasive procedures to help patients with lung cancer and other advanced lung diseases.
Equipped with the best skills and extensive experience with the most complex patients, Romero is now building his first intervention program in Nevada. It is available to help not only patients with lung cancer but also other advanced types of lung disease.
“We are taking a big step for the people of Nevada,” Romero said. People can get world-class treatment right away at home.
Dr. Angelica Honsberg, director of the Lung Critical Care Unit at the Kirk Kerryan Medical School at UNLV, says the new intervention at UCC’s lung cancer program will make a big difference in lung care in Southern Nevada.
“Historically, there has been a gap in the care of lung cancer care in our area, with many residents at high rates of disease and lack of access to advanced intervention,” she said. Kirk Kerkorian Medical School and U.S.C. Together, it provides South Nevada residents with advanced options for treating lung cancer, as well as severe migraines. Our Department is confident that providing more options for Southern Nevada will improve the quality of life and survival.
Romoro, who still has to spend a lot of time treating patients with COVID-19, hopes to be able to treat those who have emphysema without having to undergo advanced technologies such as ION and other new procedures and treatments such as special valves.
“I could not provide the best care for many of our lung cancer patients without access to the most advanced equipment available at UMC,” he said.