Lung specialists at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center now have a tool for visualizing and reaching lung nodules through a minimally invasive approach, enabling earlier diagnosis of cancer, smaller biopsies and broader treatment options for patients. The Buffalo-based cancer center has become the first facility in New York state to implement Auris Health Inc.’s Monarch platform for robotic navigational bronchoscopy into its interventional pulmonology program.
Robotic navigational bronchoscopy can benefit patients who have a potentially concerning lung nodule, typically detected by a CT scan. It allows physicians to safely biopsy very small, difficult-to-reach areas of the lung, enabling earlier diagnosis of suspicious lesions that were previously inaccessible without surgery.
“Peripheral nodules located in the outer section of the lungs are common — they’re found in up to a third of adults who get a chest X-ray or CT scan,” said physician Sai Yendamuri, chairman of thoracic surgery and professor of oncology at Roswell Park. “The vast majority of these concerning lesions — 96% — are not cancerous and don’t require treatment, but which ones? Earlier technologies did not allow us to effectively reach the lung periphery and determine the nature of the nodule as this new tool can.”
The Monarch system integrates robotics and software with bronchoscopy, allowing for real-time, continuous visualization of the bronchial tubes, or airways, through a flexible endoscope that physicians can navigate to the outer regions of the lung. Using a handheld console, physicians can access traditional endoscopic views of the lung along with computer-assisted navigation based on 3-D models of the patient’s own anatomy.