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The new robotic system enables physicians to see inside the lung and biopsy hard-to-reach nodules using a flexible endoscope.

Published Jul 30th, 2021

By Carol McPhail

USA Health is the only academic health system in Alabama to combine state-of-the art robotics and rapid diagnostic tools to diagnose lung cancer quickly and accurately in a single procedure.

The new robotic system, the Auris Health Monarch®, is available at 112 sites across the nation, including the USA Health Mitchell Cancer Institute. It enables physicians to see inside the lung and biopsy hard-to-reach nodules using a flexible endoscope. When combined with ROSE Pathology (Rapid On-Site Evaluation) it allows for diagnosis at the time of bronchoscopy.

“Lung cancer is the No. 1 cause of cancer deaths worldwide, partly because it is often diagnosed at an advanced stage,” said Brian E. Persing, M.D., a medical oncologist at the Mitchell Cancer Institute and an assistant professor of interdisciplinary clinical oncology at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine. “These new technologies give us the tools we need to perform state-of-the-art bronchoscopies and diagnose lung cancer earlier.”

In teaming with USA Health pulmonologists and pulmonologists from Pulmonary Associates, USA Health offers a comprehensive lung cancer program including pulmonology and pathology, and surgical, medical and radiation oncology. Under the program, a multidisciplinary team collaborates to diagnose, assess and treat lung cancer based on individual patient needs.

During a Monarch®-assisted bronchoscopy, a physician inserts a flexible endoscope through the mouth of the sedated patient and into the lung

using a computer-assisted controller, cameras and GPS navigation based on 3D models of the patient’s lung.

Rapid On-Site Evaluation enables the physician to have the tissue tested during the procedure, often eliminating the need for a second bronchoscopy.

Alternative diagnostic options currently available for lung cancer, such as needle biopsy, have limitations in accuracy, safety or invasiveness. They can lead to false positives, false negatives or side effects such as a collapsed lung.

“The Monarch® and ROSE technologies represent a huge step forward in lung bronchoscopy,” Persing said. “Being able to see directly inside the lung and evaluate samples immediately provides the most advanced care for patients.”

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