Tuesday July 23, 2019
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Robot-assisted Tumour Surgery Performed for the First Time in India

"This would be a first ever use of a robot in this manner -- a rare approach to an already rare and complex case," Neil Malhotra, an assistant professor of Neurosurgery and Orthopaedic Surgery said in a statement.

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Technology lends a hand to cure tumour. Pixabay

A team of neurosurgeons led by an Indian-origin professor from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine performed the first-ever robot-assisted spinal surgery to successfully remove a rare tumour on the patient’s neck.

The robotic approach assisted with a three-part, two-day complex procedure for a rare chordoma tumour removal from a patients’ neck, where the skull meets the spine.

Chordoma is a rare type of cancer that occurs in the bones of the skull base and spine. A chordoma tumour usually grows slowly and is often asymptomatic for years.

He added that due to the placement of the tumour, the removal could compromise the structural integrity of the patient's spine, causing permanent paralysis.
Surgical Equipments are used for tumour surgery. Pixaby

It is extremely rare and it affects only one in a million people each year.

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“This would be a first ever use of a robot in this manner – a rare approach to an already rare and complex case,” Neil Malhotra, an assistant professor of Neurosurgery and Orthopaedic Surgery said in a statement.

“Our team needed to reconstruct the removed area of patient’s spine using bone and rods, and that was only the beginning,” Malhotra added.

He added that due to the placement of the tumour, the removal could compromise the structural integrity of the patient’s spine, causing permanent paralysis.

There was also a risk of complications such as bone and tissue breakdown, loss of sense of smell, fine motor skill issues and complete paralysis.

“If we could not remove the entire tumour, it would likely grow back, perhaps more aggressive than before,” Malhotra added.

The surgery was performed in three parts and now nine months after the surgery, the patient is back to work in commercial contracting. (IANS)

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Three-Drug Combination Therapy Improves Survival in Patients with Advanced Bowel Cancer

The international study was a multi-institutional collaboration with over 200 centres worldwide

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bowel cancer
Metastatic cancer can spread from one organ to another. Pixabay

A targeted three-drug combination therapy resulted in median overall survival of nine months for patients with advanced bowel cancer compared to 5.4 months for current standard-of-care treatment, showed the results of a phase-3 clinical trial.

The data suggested that the three-drug combination, encorafenib, binimetinib and cetuximab, should replace chemotherapy for patients with metastatic colorectal cancer who have a BRAF gene flaw. Metastatic cancer can spread from one organ to another.

BRAF mutations are estimated to occur in up to 15 per cent of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer, with V600E being the most common BRAF mutation and representing a poor prognosis for these patients.

bowel cancer
The data suggested that the three-drug combination, encorafenib, binimetinib and cetuximab, should replace chemotherapy for patients with metastatic colorectal cancer who have a BRAF gene flaw. Pixabay

“This study builds on a decade of research into the tumour biology of BRAF-mutated colorectal cancer, and reflects a rationale combination to address the vulnerabilities unique to this tumour,” said principal investigator Scott Kopetz, Associate Professor at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in the US.

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“We are encouraged to see a meaningful improvement in outcomes with this new regimen for our patients,” Kopetz added. The international study was a multi-institutional collaboration with over 200 centres worldwide. The clinical trial involved 665 metastatic colorectal cancer patients with BRAF mutation. The findings were presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) World Congress on Gastrointestinal Cancer 2019 in Barcelona, Spain. (IANS)