INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana – New robotic technology holds great promise in fighting lung cancer and is being used to treat patients at Franciscan Health Cancer Center Indianapolis, making Franciscan Health the first and only hospital in Indiana to deploy this system.
The innovation, Auris Health Monarch™ Platform, is used to view the inside of lungs and obtain a tissue sample for biopsy. The system integrates the latest advancements in technology, data science, software and endoscopy (the use of small cameras and tools to enter the body through its natural openings.
“This platform is more precise and provides improved reach, vision and control during bronchoscopic procedures, thereby offering more hopeful outcomes for our patients,” said interventional pulmonologist Faisal Khan, MD, who leads the team that recently began using the Monarch system.
Franciscan Health Cancer Center Indianapolis is the only hospital in the state to deploy the robotic platform.
About 81 percent of people diagnosed with lung cancer do not survive because in most cases the disease is not detected until advanced stages. Early lung cancer screening can help to detect lung cancer early. While there are a variety of diagnostic options currently available for lung cancer, all have limitations on accuracy, safety or invasiveness. Such limitations can lead to false diagnoses or side effects such as collapsed lung and hemorrhage, which increase health costs and extend hospital stays.
The Monarch uses a familiar controller-like interface – appearing much like a hand-held game device – and combines views inside the lung with computer-assisted navigation based on 3-D models of a patient’s own lung anatomy. The system provides Dr. Khan with continuous bronchoscope vision throughout the entire outpatient procedure.
“Technology has evolved since the earliest robotics platforms used in clinical care, but there often are limitations to their effectiveness,” said Dr. Khan, who is one of only two practicing interventional pulmonologists in Indiana. “The Monarch greatly advances our capabilities and this unique platform may provide other uses in future endoscopic procedures.”
“In the next few years, the evolving technology will enable us to deliver lung cancer treatment with radio frequency microwave ablation of small peripheral tumors for non-surgical patients,” said Dr. Khan. “This will result in the diagnosis, staging and treatment in one procedure.”
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