McLaren Oakland among the first in the US to offer advanced lung cancer diagnosis

McLaren Oakland, the 318-bed hospital in Pontiac serving all of Oakland County, has added to its growing list of services by being among the first in the United States to offer advanced technology to diagnose lung cancer. In a minimally invasive procedure, the Monarch Platform can view into the lungs deeper than previous procedures, allowing for the biopsy of smaller, harder-to-reach nodules in this peripheral tissue, resulting in earlier and more accurate lung cancer diagnosis.

The technology recently achieved clearance by the Food and Drug Administration, making McLaren Oakland one of the first hospitals in the country with this advanced technology, which will be under the direction Dr. David Sternberg, a thoracic surgeon with the Karmanos Cancer Institute at McLaren Oakland.

This is a program supported by the Karmanos Thoracic Oncology Multidisciplinary Team, which is composed of cardiothoracic surgeons, surgical, medical and radiation oncologists, radiologists and pathologists — among others — who share their collective experience of treating cancers of the chest.

“Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide, in part because it has no symptoms in its early stages,” said Dr. Timothy Kasprzak, chief medical officer at McLaren Oakland. “Because the Monarch Platform provides improved reach, vision and control for bronchoscopic procedures, it holds potential to help us to make a diagnosis earlier. We are excited about the promise of this technology to offer a more hopeful future for our patients with lung cancer.”

The technology integrates the latest advancements in robotics, software, data science and endoscopy, the use of small cameras and tools to enter the body through its natural openings, utilizes a familiar controller-like interface that physicians use to navigate the flexible robotic endoscope to the periphery of the lung with improved reach, vision, and control.

The Monarch Platform combines traditional endoscopic views into the lung with computer-assisted navigation based on 3D models of the patient’s specific lung anatomy, the Monarch Platform provides physicians with continuous bronchoscope vision throughout the entire procedure.

While the most common form of cancer worldwide, more than 90 percent of people diagnosed with lung cancer do not survive the disease, in part because it is often found at an advanced stage.

Patients at risk for lung cancer should talk to their primary care physician about a referral for a low-dose CT lung screening, which identifies lung cancer in its earliest forms. Learn more at

About McLaren Oakland

McLaren Oakland is a 318-bed medical center that provides primary and specialty healthcare services to the greater Pontiac and Oakland County community. Founded in 1953, McLaren Oakland has grown to a comprehensive medical community that includes outpatient facilities in Clarkston and Oxford, in addition to an inpatient hospital in Pontiac providing a range of clinical services including emergency and trauma care, cardiology, cancer services, minimally invasive robotic surgery and orthopedic services. With a network of more than 300 physicians, McLaren Oakland owns a network of employed physician offices throughout Oakland County and a nursing home in Lake Orion. McLaren Oakland is a Level II verified trauma center and an accredited stroke center. McLaren Oakland offers ACGME accredited residency and fellowship programs in anesthesiology, diagnostic radiology, emergency medicine, family medicine, internal medicine, orthopedic surgery, otolaryngology, pulmonary disease and critical care medicine, and transitional year, in addition to a CPME accredited podiatry program.

About McLaren Health Care

McLaren Health Care, headquartered in Grand Blanc, Michigan, is a fully integrated health network committed to quality evidence-based patient care and cost efficiency. The McLaren system includes 13 hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, imaging centers, an employed primary care physician network, commercial and Medicaid HMOs covering more than 630,000 lives, home health and hospice providers, retail medical equipment showrooms, pharmacy services and a wholly owned medical malpractice insurance company. McLaren operates Michigan’s largest network of cancer centers and providers, anchored by the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, one of only 49 National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive centers in the U.S. McLaren has 26,000 employees and more than 52,500 network providers. Its operations are housed in more than 350 facilities serving the entire Lower Peninsula of the state of Michigan along with a portion of the Upper Peninsula.