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Medtronic launches superDimension™ lung navigation software

Further underscoring its ongoing commitment to lung health, Medtronic unveiled a next generation version of its superDimension™ navigation system software.

The superDimension™ navigation system enables a minimally invasive approach to access difficult-to-reach areas of the lung, and can aid in the diagnosis of lung diseases. Using the patient’s CT scan, the superDimension™ planning software generates a 3D virtual bronchial tree and allows physicians to map pathways to reach pulmonary targets during the electromagnetic navigation bronchoscopy procedures (also known as ENB™ procedures).

During a workshop session at the 2015 European Respiratory Society (ERS) Annual Congress a global perspective on lung cancer approach was outlined. It was supported by opinions from both an interventional pulmonologist and a thoracic surgeon. All attendees had the opportunity to experience and test the advanced platform and it’s extended capabilities.

Lung cancer causes 1.37 million deaths per year worldwide, which represents 18% of all cancer deaths.1 Within the European Union, lung cancer is the most frequently fatal cancer, leading to over 266,000 deaths yearly and accounting for 20.8% of all cancer deaths.2 Surgery in the early stages is the most effective treatment for lung cancer. However, most patients are diagnosed at an advanced, and thus non-curable, disease stage.3

This minimally invasive device helps physicians prepare for the most appropriate therapy depending on the stage of the cancer,” said Bronwyn Brophy, Vice President Early Technologies EMEA, Medtronic.  “Improving chances to more easily identify patients at an early stage may bring a dramatic change in the societal impact of lung cancer.

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In its early stages, lung cancer presents few, if any, symptoms. As a result, the diagnosis of lung cancer occurs in late stages for the vast majority of patients with lung cancer. Long-term survival rates of lung cancer are very low. When diagnosed early, an estimated 85% of lung cancer cases appear at a more curable stage.4 Early detection and immediate treatment dramatically increases the typical long-term survival rate from 15% at five years5 to 88% at 10 years.4

Only recently, Medtronic announced the launch of a 2500-patient, international study to assess real-world impact of its superDimension™ navigation system. The company developed the study to support and validate the superDimension™ system, which the company hopes will become the global standard-of-care for obtaining lung tissue biopsies from the periphery of the lungs.6

These advanced tools and technologies demonstrate Medtronic’s commitment to expanding the specialised lung health products available to pulmonologists and thoracic surgeons,” said Chuck Brynelsen, President Early Technologies, Medtronic. Brynelsen concluded, “The continuum of care is the healthcare journey a patient takes from diagnosis to recovery. Our goal, across this continuum, is to diagnose earlier, intervene earlier, treat better and help patients recover faster.

superDimension™ Innovations
Using a patient’s CT scan, the latest superDimension™ planning software generates a 3D virtual bronchial tree and lets physicians map pathways aligned with the patient’s anatomy to reach pulmonary targets that are used during an electromagnetic navigation bronchoscopy™ (ENB™) procedure. This virtual roadmap allows physicians to navigate and steer a catheter to the target quickly and accurately. Once the target tissue is reached, physicians pass the new superDimension™ triple needle cytology brush through an endoscopic catheter to obtain tissue samples from endobronchial lesions, peripheral lung nodules, or lung masses.


  1. World Health Organization. Cancer. Fact Sheet Number 297. Last updated February 2015. Last accessed February 10 2015.
  2. Eurostat Press Office. 1 in 4 Deaths Caused by Cancer in the EU28. 2014. Last updated November 25 2014. Last accessed February 10 2015.
  3. ESR/ERS white paper on lung cancer screening. Eur Respir J 2015;46(1):28–39. Published online 2015 Apr 30. doi:  10.1183/09031936.00033015.
  4. American Cancer Society: Cancer Facts & Figures 2013.
  5. The International Early Lung Cancer Action Program Investigators. N Engl J Med 2006;355:1763–71.
  6. May 2013; 143 (5_suppl) Diagnosis and Management of Lung Cancer, 3rd ed: American College of Chest Physicians Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guidelines.