Olympus America Inc. announced the launch of EU-ME1, the first universal endoscopic ultrasound processor to combine electronic and mechanical scanning for both gastrointestinal and pulmonary diseases in a single device. This technology could allow doctors to more conveniently diagnose and stage pancreatic, lung, esophageal and stomach cancer, as well as other diseases. “Consolidating both processors is a practical and efficient solution for identifying and assessing the extent of disease in both the digestive and respiratory systems,” said Dr. Robert Hawes, professor of medicine, Digestive Disease Center, Medical University of South Carolina. “Many of Olympus’ ultrasound endoscopes and probes that previously required different processors can now be used with one system -- possibly reducing cost and procedure time while providing the best quality imaging with color Doppler and electronic scanning.” Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) and Endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) combine endoscopy and ultrasound in order to obtain the most accurate, high-resolution images and information about the digestive and bronchial tracts and the surrounding tissue and organs. By guiding an endoscope with an ultrasound transducer at its tip, sound beyond the range of human hearing is emitted within body cavities and creates images of the targeted areas. The applications for EUS and EBUS have continued to expand and are now used to assess several types of cancer. EUS applications now allow doctors to inject pain medication from inside the body of patients with pancreatic cancer or chronic pancreatitis without damaging surrounding tissues. Research clinicians are currently exploring this technique as a way to directly deliver cancer-fighting agents to malignant tumors. EBUS, one of the most effective methods for diagnosing and staging lung cancer, offers a non-surgical alternative to traditional procedures that examine the chest. Olympus was the first to introduce EBUS bronchoscopes with aspiration needles specifically designed for diagnosing biopsies and staging lung cancer in real-time with ultrasound. This technology is now compatible with Olympus’ EU-ME1. “The EU-ME1 provides a means of sampling lymph nodes and masses more systematically than conventional blind methods and allows the physician to more accurately diagnose and determine treatment for various pulmonary diseases,” said Dr. William Krimsky, director, The Center for Interventional Pulmonology at Franklin Square Hospital Center in Baltimore.