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Thoracic Oncology

A new era in lung cancer diagnostics: Robotic-assisted bronchoscopy

Lung cancer screening leads to increased detection of early stage lung cancer (LC). The majority of nodules detected are peripherally located.

Dr. Priya Patel, Penn Medicine, Philadelphia

Dr. Priya Patel

Image-guided bronchoscopic modalities, including radial probe endobronchial ultrasound (r-EBUS) and electromagnetic navigation bronchoscopy (ENB), allow diagnosis of peripheral nodules with a low rate of complications. Although a meta-analysis of image-guided bronchoscopic procedures reported a diagnostic yield of 70% (Wang Memoli JS, et al. Chest. 2012;142[2]:385), the diagnostic yield remains inferior to CT-guided biopsy. Robotic-assisted bronchoscopy (RAB) with four-way steering, 180 degrees of deflection in any direction and better access to peripheral airways may improve the diagnostic yield. Two FDA-approved platforms are commercially available. The Monarch System, (Auris Health) has a 3.2-mm outer diameter and a 1.2-mm working channel. Results from an ongoing prospective, multicenter study in 24 patients revealed successful localization of targeted lesion in 92%, with no significant adverse events (Chen, et al. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2019;199:A7304/NCT03727425; Clinical Trials. 2019. https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03727425).

The Ion Endoluminal System (Intuitive Surgical) has a 3.5-mm outer diameter and a 2.0-mm working channel. Preliminary data revealed 96.6% of target lesions were successfully reached, and no adverse events (Fielding et al. Chest. 2017;152[4]:A858). A prospective, multicenter randomized trial is currently ongoing (Clinical Trials. 2019. https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03893539).

The aim of bronchoscopic procedures is to safely and effectively diagnose early stage LC. RAB shows a great deal of potential in the future of LC diagnostics.

Priya Patel MD

Fellow-in-Training Member

Adnan Majid, MD

NetWork Member

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