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Precision Surgery System for Early-Stage Lung Cancer Provide Surgeons with Real-Time GPS Guidance

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 18 Sep 2023
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Image: The NaviSci System is designed to provide GPS navigation for precise margin control (Photo courtesy of Navigation Sciences)
Image: The NaviSci System is designed to provide GPS navigation for precise margin control (Photo courtesy of Navigation Sciences)

Lung cancer ranks high among global causes of death. Fortunately, more cases—especially of the most common type, non-small cell lung cancer—are being detected at early stages like Stage 1 and Stage 2. At these stages, surgical intervention can yield promising long-term results. Now, a new system designed for use in the precision surgical treatment of early-stage lung cancer provides surgeons with real-time ‘GPS’ guidance during minimally invasive surgery. Designed to address the growing need to locate and remove lung and other soft tissue cancers, the system determines real-time margin measurement, reduces local recurrence risk, and minimizes removal of lung tissue in order to preserve lung function.

Navigation Sciences (Brookline, MA, USA) is developing the NaviSci System for use in the precision surgical treatment of early-stage lung cancer. The system offers surgeons a kind of 'GPS' to pinpoint the exact location of both the tumor and adjacent tissue during surgery, and then suggest where to excise the tumor. The system is the first to measure surgical margins in real-time, thereby greatly improving the precision of tissue removal. The NaviSci System includes an active fiducial marker known as a J-Bar, which is positioned next to the tumor. This marker helps to localize the tumor's position and map out the shortest access route from the lung surface to the cancerous nodule.

The system also comes with a specialized surgical cutting tool that has its own position sensor, along with dedicated software that syncs the sensors on both the J-Bar and the cutting tool. This gives surgeons both visual and numerical data to determine tumor margins in real-time, allowing for more accurate removal of the cancer while preserving surrounding healthy lung tissue. Additionally, Navigation Sciences is also working on the NaviSci EndoMarker, a bronchoscope-based marker designed to simplify the pre-surgery process. The system positions the J-Bar marker next to the tumor through the endoscope's working channel, using navigational and diagnostic CT images for guidance. The NaviSci System holds huge potential due to the rising cases of early-stage lung cancer and the increasing adoption of minimally invasive surgical methods that have demonstrated effectiveness similar to traditional surgery types like lobectomy.

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