St. Anthony Hospital Physicians Use World's Smallest Microscope to Detect Cancer

Hospital is first in Colorado using advanced imaging to find cancer faster

St. Anthony Hospital physicians are using the world's smallest microscope during endoscopies and colonoscopies to view internal tissues at the cellular level in real time. This cell-by-cell view allows them to pinpoint cancerous and pre-cancerous tissue more effectively than before, so they can precisely remove the affected tissue or send the patient to surgery immediately with confidence.

St. Anthony Hospital is the first in Colorado to offer this new advanced imaging technology known as Cellvizio to at-risk patients during standard endoscopy procedures.

"Until now, if we found areas that appeared abnormal during an endoscopic procedure, we would often take random tissue samples and send them to a laboratory for analysis," explained Dr. Matt Reveille of St. Anthony Hospital. "The process is often imprecise, inefficient and can take up to a week. Patients often have to come in for additional procedures at a later date. This is not only inconvenient, it can delay important treatments.

"With Cellvizio, we have a tool that helps us better identify the dangerous tissue during the initial diagnostic exam and remove it the same day," said Dr. John Goff.

"It also allows us to go back to ensure we removed it all, which is the paramount concern with cancer. With Cellvizio's cellular-level views we have more visual information about internal tissues at the patient's bedside than ever before."

St. Anthony Hospital gastroenterologists Drs. Reveille and Goff are using the system to help them differentiate, diagnose and treat early signs of esophageal cancer, pancreatic cancer and colon cancer. For patients who have pre-cancerous polyps removed during colonoscopies, physicians may use Cellvizio during follow up colonoscopies to confirm that all cancerous cells were removed sufficiently during the previous procedure.

Given the versatility of Cellvizio, the hospital's pulmonology and surgery departments will begin integrating it into their procedures as well.

Cellvizio allows doctors to more accurately differentiate cancerous and pre-cancerous changes in tissue during colonoscopies, endoscopies and the standard pancreatic and bile duct cancer detection procedure. The microscope is located at the end of a catheter that is threaded through a traditional endoscope, while the patient is having an endoscopy or a colonoscopy. Cells that are pre-cancerous or cancerous appear as black spots thanks to the administration of intravenous fluorescein. It adds only a few minutes to the standard endoscopic exam and has no additional risks.

St. Anthony Hospital is part of the Centura Health Cancer Network, delivering integrated, advanced cancer care across Colorado. The hospital is one of about 50 centers in the United States using the Cellvizio focal probe. Cellvizio is cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

St. Anthony Hospital is nationally recognized for its renowned programs in trauma, cardiovascular services, oncology, neurosciences and orthopedics. St. Anthony Hospital's expert team of physicians, nurses and other caregivers provide unparalleled medical care for patients and access to the latest in medical technology. St. Anthony Hospital is part of Centura Health, Colorado's largest hospital and health care network. For more information on the St. Anthony Medical Campus, please visit or follow the hospital via Twitter @stahospital or like it on Facebook

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