Researchers at St Bartholomew’s Hospital (London, UK) have become the first to conduct a procedure that involves using a combination of innovative techniques and technology which avoids puncturing the skin.
The procedure combined the use of a hybrid surgical theater equipped with the latest imaging devices, a catheter inserted through the mouth and guided using GPS-style images and a targeted dose of microwave energy, administered directly to the tumor without making a cut.
A 3D map of the lung was created that allowed a catheter to be passed through the patient’s mouth and into their airway to safely reach the tumor. This combination has paved the way for patients who were previously deemed too unfit to have the usually more invasive operation, to undergo the procedure.
The patient’s post-operative scans showed no sign of the cancer.
Kelvin Lau (Barts Health NHS Trust, London), who conducted the procedure, commented: “This heralds a new era where more patients can potentially be cured for their lung cancer. Currently, one in five patients with potentially curable lung cancer are not fit enough to undergo the standard treatment of operation or radiotherapy, but we can now treat these patients using navigational bronchoscopy. I am absolutely delighted.”
Fiona Miller-Smith (Barts Charity, London) concluded: “”We are thrilled that the charity’s funding has been used to purchase this equipment, which is increasing the treatment options available to patients with lung cancer. We are proud to support ambitious and forward-thinking surgeons like Mr Lau who are pushing the boundaries of cancer treatment.”