- Metastases to the liver have been destroyed with a robot.
- This is a world first, which took place on July 7 at Gustave Roussy (Ile-de-France).
- The Quantum Surgical robot should make it possible to democratize this technique of hepatic tumor removal.
This is a world first, which took place on July 7 at Gustave Roussy (Ile-de-France). Metastases to the liver have been destroyed with a robot. “The procedure went perfectly, the robot successfully completed its mission. The first patient is fine, he was discharged from the hospital the next day”, says Professor de Baere, head of the therapeutic imaging department at Gustave Roussy.
To destroy tumors in the liver, image-guided therapies allow treatment without opening. Images taken before the procedure allow the radiologist to plan the position, axis and depth at which the needle delivering the treatment must be introduced. Passing through the skin, the practitioner inserts a needle into the tumor which destroys it by heat or cold, following and controlling his gesture by scanner.
“We avoid additional rays during the operation”
“The liver is located in an anatomically dense region of vital organs with the presence of important arteries and veins. To access it, it must also pass through the skin and the peritoneum * and often between the ribs”, explains Professor de Baere. “The robot helps us by precisely positioning where to insert the needle through the skin and its inclination to reach its target by following a straight path without damaging tissue”, he continues.
From the 3D scanner image taken before the operation, the robot plans the path that the destruction needle will have to follow to reach the tumor in the liver. It calculates the best position, the best axis and the ideal depth to which it must be introduced. The articulated arm of the robot then comes into position and the radiologist manually pushes the needle through the guide. The correct positioning of the needle in the tumor is checked by scanner before its destruction. “The robot allows us to stop doing intermediate images during the process of inserting the needle to the tumor. Without the robot, we have to go step by step, checking several times with the scanner that we are following the route that we previously planned, often with iterations and repositionings “, says Professor de Baere, this avoids additional rays for patients during the operation “.
Safety and performance
Liver metastasis is a cancerous tumor that first developed in another organ and then spread to the liver. Not all cancers metastasize to the liver, but some are more likely to spread (lung, breast or colon cancer).
“If its safety and performance are demonstrated, the Quantum Surgical robot should make it possible to democratize this technique of hepatic tumor ablation, which to date remains carried out in expert centers”, concludes Professor de Baere.
* Peritoneum: thin membrane that surrounds the organs of the abdomen.