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Sunday, Apr 02, 2023

CUHK performs world’s first robotic-assisted bronchoscopic microwave ablation of lung metastases

CUHK performs world’s first robotic-assisted bronchoscopic microwave ablation of lung metastases

The Chinese University of Hong Kong’s Faculty of Medicine announced it has performed the world’s first robotic-assisted bronchoscopic microwave ablation of lung metastases.
The novel procedure can avoid surgical access trauma and protect lung function, CUHK said. Three patients with six lung metastases have been successfully treated with ablation since October 2022.

Surgical resection is the main treatment modality for lung metastases but is associated with access trauma and loss of healthy lung tissue. The Non-invasive transbronchial microwave ablation of lung metastases is a novel form of treatment that does not require surgical wounds and usually results in no pain or blood loss.

A small catheter will be passed down into the small airways to reach the lung metastases during the treatment, and microwave energy is delivered to heat and destroys the cancer cells. Furthermore, the procedure is lung parenchymal sparing, as it does not involve the removal of healthy lung tissue.

“The advanced robotic mechanism within the bronchoscope maintains stability while the microwave ablation catheter is deployed, improving the accuracy and efficiency of the ablation procedure,” Rainbow Lau Wing-hung, Clinical Assistant Professor (honorary) from the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery at CU Medicine, explained.

“We can now give our patients with lung metastases an additional treatment option which is non-invasive,” Calvin Ng Sze-hang, Professor from the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, remarked. “Our novel approach using robotic bronchoscopic microwave ablation allows multiple bilateral lung metastases to be treated without incisions or lung resection, meaning almost no impact on patient’s lung function or quality of life.”

The ablation treatment is now in clinical trial, with a target of enrolling up to 145 patients worldwide, CUHK added.

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