UChicago Medicine Showcases Next-Gen Robotic Technology to Fight Early Lung Cancer

Chicago Medical University is the first US hospital to use cutting-edge new robotic technology for bronchoscopies that will improve the early detection of lung cancer.

UChicago Medicine performed its first four successful cases using the Noah Medical Galaxy robot on May 18, 2023. Each patient went home the same day after the procedure.

The most unique feature of the robot is its X-ray enhanced nodule targeting system. During a bronchoscopy, a long tube with a small camera (scope) is guided through the mouth of a patient under anesthesia. The doctor uses a hand-held device, similar to a video game controller, to pass the endoscope through the lungs.

With the help of the robot, the scope can reach potentially cancerous lung nodules and lesions in hard-to-reach places with much more precision and accuracy than current first-generation robotic scopes, the UChicago Medicine pulmonologist said. D. Kyle Hogarth, MD, an expert in advanced bronchoscopy.

“I can’t stress how important this new and improved technology is,” Hogarth said.

“Even with first-generation robotic endoscopes, bronchoscopists can miss a nodule. Now I know exactly where to put that biopsy needle and get confirmation from the system that the needle is in the right place,” he said. he declares.

This will be helpful for anyone with an abnormal CT scan to determine what is wrong and what we can do next. “This will be helpful for anyone with an abnormal CT to determine what is wrong and what we can do next. If a biopsy is needed, we will make sure it is done correctly.

The new technology reduces radiation exposure and reduces the time spent under anesthesia, resulting in faster recoveries. It also offers a faster answer to the question “Is it cancer?” ” question.

“If there’s a way to take better care of patients with less risk and better outcomes, we’re going to do it,” Hogarth said.

The device uses a disposable bronchoscope, a unique feature designed for single use. This reduces the risk of infection or disease transmission from cleaned but reused endoscopes, the US standard before the Galaxy.

Hogarth has been a paid consultant since 2018 for the robot’s maker, Noah Medical, and has a stake in the company. The Galaxy robot system was first used in March 2023 in Australia. The United States Food & Drug Administration cleared it for use the same month.

In 2018, UChicago Medicine was the second hospital in the nation — and the first in the Midwest — to use a robotic bronchoscopy tool. Since then, Hogarth has worked as a consultant with this company to advance its navigation and diagnostic features.

Hogarth envisions a future where bronchoscopies include treatments.

“The day is coming when – during a bronchoscopy – I can confirm if you have lung cancer, and if so, I will try to jump-start your immune system with other technologies or I will try to cure your lung cancer from the inside out,” he said.

“Imagine coming out of your bronchoscopy cured of your lung cancer. That day is coming. And it will be on an outpatient basis. It hasn’t happened yet, but it’s closer to happening thanks to technologies like this.

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