Robotic surgery: a beneficial option for bladder cancer patients

30 Jun 2015

In the largest multi-institutional study to date, patients diagnosed with bladder cancer and treated with robot-assisted surgery experienced similar results to those who underwent a traditional open operation, according to research led by scientists at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI).

“This technique had similar early oncological outcomes”

"We found that robot-assisted radical cystectomy, an advanced surgical procedure used to treat bladder cancer that has spread to the bladder wall or recurred, despite local treatment in the bladder, provides similar early oncological outcomes while reducing operative blood loss," says Khurshid Guru, MD, Director of Robotic Surgery in the Department of Urology at RPCI.

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The study is a retrospective review of long-term patient outcomes for cystectomies that currently populate the International Robotic Cystectomy Consortium, which represents 11 institutions in 6 countries. Data from 702 patients with clinically localized bladder cancer from 2003 to date were analyzed for five-year recurrence-free survival (67%), cancer-specific survival (75%) and overall survival (50%). When compared with traditional open surgery, patients treated with robot-assisted surgery experienced similar long-term survival outcomes.

“More research proving the viability of the new surgical therapy is necessary”

Robot-assisted surgery is a type of minimally invasive surgery (MIS) that uses surgical robotic equipment that imitates surgical movements. MIS procedures allow surgeons to operate through small ports rather than large incisions. For patients, robot-assisted surgery results in possible shorter recovery times and minimal blood loss.

"Simply developing and using new MIS techniques during surgery isn't enough. The medical community demands proof that MIS provides standard oncologic results as effective as open surgical standards," says James Mohler, MD, Associate Director and Senior Vice President for Translational Research at Roswell Park. "This research is useful in continuing to document the viability of the new surgical therapies for the treatment of cancer."

Source: Medical News Today

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