Current DateSeptember 17, 2021

Liver cancer: robot used for the first time to destroy metastases

A team from the Gustave Roussy Institute in France has succeeded in eliminating localized metastases in the liver thanks to a robot that can guide the diffusion of microwaves directly into tumors. A first which went “perfectly”.

The treatment of metastatic liver cancer is most often local. And today, the development of interventional radiology makes it possible to destroy metastases without going through invasive surgery. In a press release published on July 9, the Gustave Roussy Institute explains that for the first time, the team of the therapeutic imaging department of the Institute went further by using a robot to “guide the destruction by microwaves of metastases localized in the liver”.

“Ballistic precision”

The liver is an organ difficult to reach because it is located “in a region anatomically dense in vital organs with the presence of important arteries and veins”, specifies Professor Thierry de Baere, head of the service. Before the patient’s operation, which took place on July 7, an artificial intelligence scanner was performed, allowing the Quantum Surgical robot to “plan the position, axis and depth at which the needle which delivers the treatment must be introduced”.

“The robot helps us by positioning with ballistic precision where to insert the needle through the skin and its inclination to reach its target by following a straight path without damaging tissue,” says Professor de Baere. [It] allows us to stop doing intermediate images during the process of inserting the needle to the tumor. Without the robot, we must move forward step by step, checking several times with the scanner that we are following the route that we have previously planned, often with iterations and repositionings. This saves patients from extra rays during the operation.”

A technique that could be democratized

According to him, the robot “successfully completed its mission. The patient is fine, he is out of the hospital. ” The intervention was carried out as part of a clinical trial on 20 patients, aimed at “assessing the safety and performance” of the device. “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 is carried out only in expert centers”, concludes Professor de Baere.