El Camino Hospital Pioneers First U.S. Use of Robotic Platform for Lung Cancer Diagnosis

Friday, April 13, 2018

The Taft Center for Clinical Research at El Camino Hospital is pleased to announce that its interventional pulmonology team has successfully performed an innovative robotic bronchoscopy procedure to view the inside of the lungs and obtain a tissue sample. This procedure, the first of its kind performed in the United States, took place as part of a clinical trial of Auris Health’s Monarch Platform. Auris recently announced U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance of the platform.

According to the American Cancer Society, lung cancer is the second most common cancer in both men and women and often the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States, having a higher mortality than prostate, colon, and breast cancers combined. Approximately 220,000 people are newly diagnosed with lung cancer each year and more than 155,000 people die from the disease annually in the United States. The early and accurate diagnosis of lung cancer is critical. Today, 90 percent of people who have lung cancer die from the disease, in part because it is often not found until the cancer is at an advanced stage. As the technology to identify lesions improves and screening for lung cancer in at-risk individuals advances, there will be increased requirements for minimally invasive diagnosis.

The Monarch Platform integrates the latest advancements in robotics, software, data science, and endoscope innovation with the goal of enabling earlier and more-accurate diagnosis, and eventually treatment, of small and hard-to-reach nodules in the periphery of the lung.

“At El Camino Hospital, we utilize a variety of minimally invasive procedures to visualize internal structures, obtain tissue samples and diagnose lung disease. With the use of the Monarch Platform, we are embarking on a paradigm shift in how we diagnose suspicious nodules in the lung. Since the robotic bronchoscope has the ability to travel deeper into the lung and precisely guide a biopsy instrument to even the most difficult nodules, the technology offers the potential to diagnose lung cancer at an earlier stage,” stated Ganesh Krishna, MD, medical director of the Interventional Pulmonology Program at El Camino Hospital and fellowship director of the Interventional Pulmonary Fellowship Program in collaboration with University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and Palo Alto Medical Foundation.

The Interventional Pulmonology Program at El Camino Hospital is a leader in providing advanced diagnostic services and treatments, including offering clinical trials, electromagnetic navigation guided (EMN) bronchoscopy, endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS), confocal endomicroscopy, transbronchial cryobiopsy and more. Minimally invasive lung treatment options include airway recanalization, airway stenting, bronchial thermoplasty and more. For lung nodules that are found to be cancerous, the Interventional Pulmonology Program and the El Camino Hospital Cancer Center use the combined expertise of pulmonologists, surgeons, radiation oncologists and medical oncologists to aggressively treat the disease.

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