In the Lung, Little Tools Get Big Results

Interventional Pulmonology and You
Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - 2:35pm
Assistant Professor of Oncology, Interventional Pulmonologist

I am originally from Lebanon, and worked previously in New York, Maine and Pennsylvania. I am so pleased to be part of a thriving medical community at Roswell Park and to be caring for patients in the greater Buffalo region.

Many people often ask me what my role is as an interventional pulmonologist. Essentially, I am a physician who deals primarily with diseases of the respiratory tract. This kind of specialty is sometimes casually referred to as “chest medicine.” 

In interventional pulmonology, we use the least invasive techniques possible to treat masses interfering with breathing and that obstruct proper lung function. We typically use very small instruments attached to a flexible tube, known as a bronchoscope, in order to observe and treat a given tumor. In this way, interventional pulmonologists offer a minimally intrusive way to diagnose and treat respiratory cancers.

One of the reasons I have come to work for RPCI is to participate in advanced research opportunities, particularly those concerning early detection of lung cancers and research to hopefully create innovative new ways to diagnose lung cancers. Some of these include new means of analyzing tissues.

These diagnostic approaches are highly localized to the exact location of a patient’s cancer. These new methods also give us the ability to determine genetic information necessary to target specific genes that are expressed in cancer cells. In some cases, we also then can educate some patients’ relatives about their own potential susceptibility to certain cancers. 

While the interventional pulmonology field is a specialized one, my fellow doctors and I aim collectively to diagnose and treat all aspects of cancer. The medical community at RPCI is making tremendous progress and I am proud to contribute to their ongoing mission—ensuring Cancer Can’t Win.