Diagnosing Lung Nodules Earlier with Robot-Assisted Bronchoscopy

Lung cancer is the #1 cancer killer -- claiming more lives each year than breast, colon and prostate cancers combined. One reason lung cancer can be so deadly is that it is difficult to diagnose safely and reliably when it is in an early stage (1 or 2). These small nodules tend to be deep in the periphery of the lung, requiring more invasive procedures such as transthoracic needle aspiration (TTNA) with a higher complication rate than traditional, manual bronchoscopy. However, when a traditional, manual bronchoscopy is used, it often does not lead to a diagnosis.

Introducing the Monarch Platform - Robotic Bronchoscopy

]The first in Kentucky, the multidisciplinary lung cancer team is now utilizing an innovative new endoscopic technology: Auris Health's Monarch Platform, which was recently cleared by the FDA for diagnostic and therapeutic bronchoscopy procedures. The Monarch Platform is a robot-assisted bronchoscope. It utilizes a familiar controller interface that is used to navigate a flexible robotic endoscope to the periphery of the lung with improved reach, vision and control. Combining traditional endoscopic view into the lung with computer-generated navigation based on 3D models of the patient's own lung anatomy, the Monarch Platform provides continuous bronchoscope vision throughout the entire procedure.

How does the robot-assisted bronchoscopy compare to transthoracic needle aspiration (TTNA) and traditional bronchoscopy?

The technology for the robot-assisted bronchoscopy, Monarch, offers better diagnostic capabilities and higher diagnostic yield than TTNA with a longer, more accurate reach than traditional bronchoscopy.

How does the robot-assisted bronchoscopy help patients?

Physicians can view and biopsy small nodules in the periphery of the lungs -- helping to diagnose and subsequently treat lung cancer and its smallest and earliest stage.

How does it work?

It uses a hand-controller to provide a precise guidance and manipulation, and offers physicians improved direct real-time vision, further reach and excellent control as the bronchoscope moves through the air passages of the lung. In experienced hands, including interventional pulmonologists and thoracic surgeons, it is an extremely powerful tool that combines computer-assisted navigation based on 3D models of the patient's own lung anatomy, providing physicians with a clear vision of the lung throughout the entire procedure.

Interventional pulmonology is an emerging specialty that includes and expands standard bronchoscopy to manage even more complicated pulmonary conditions. UofL Health – Jewish Hospital is the only hospital in the area to have both an interventional pulmonologist and a Monarch robot-assisted bronchoscope platform.

Which patients are eligible for a robot-assisted bronchoscope?

  • Patients with lung nodules, lung masses and lung opacities are eligible.
  • Patients with implanted electronic devices in their body or defibrillators will be individually evaluated.

About the Multidisciplinary Lung Cancer Team

The multidisciplinary lung cancer team at UofL Health – Brown Cancer Center is home to world-renowned lung cancer specialists in medical oncology, radiation oncology, pulmonology and cardiothoracic surgery.

The team offers minimally-invasive lung cancer treatment technology and are global leaders in the clinical testing of immunotherapies, including cell-based immunotherapy such as tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs). The team also offers innovative radiotherapy planning and delivery techniques including Cyberknife stereotactic body radiation therapy and the Calypso real-time tumor tracking system.

We believe the Monarch Platform holds promise for earlier and more accurate diagnosis of pulmonary nodules in patients at risk for lung cancer. When lung cancer is caught in its earliest stages, survival rates are greatly increased.

To refer a patient, call 502-210-4497.

Calendar icon that indicates scheduling an appointment
Schedule an