ThedaCare Among First in U.S. to Update Robotic Technology for Lung Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment

Monarch™ Platform Could Enable Earlier and More-Accurate Diagnosis of Lung Nodules

January 11, 2021

APPLETON, Wis. – ThedaCare Cancer Care is pleased to announce the addition of updated robotic technology that can possibly help teams diagnose lung cancer earlier, and in the near future, provide additional treatment options.

Auris Health’s Monarch™ Platform is used to view the inside of the lungs, and obtain a tissue sample for biopsy. This could potentially lead to earlier and more-accurate diagnosis of small and hard-to-reach nodules in the periphery of the lung. The technology integrates the latest advancements in robotics, software, data science, and endoscopy, which is the use of small cameras and tools to enter the body through its natural openings.

“The Monarch Platform uses a controller-like interface that physicians use to navigate the flexible robotic endoscope to the periphery of the lung with improved reach, vision, and control,” explained Scott Parrish, MD, a Pulmonary Medicine Physician with Fox Valley Pulmonary Medicine SC-Appleton and affiliated with ThedaCare. “When we combine traditional endoscopic views into the lung with computer-assisted navigation based on 3-D models of the patient’s own lung anatomy, the Monarch Platform provides physicians with continuous vision throughout the entire procedure.”

According to the American Cancer Society, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in men and women, accounting for one in four cancer deaths in the U.S. This year, an estimated 228,820 new cases of lung cancer are expected and 135,720 lung cancer deaths. Anyone can get lung cancer, including people who smoke, who have quit, and those who have never smoked.

Regardless of whether you have ever smoked, the most common symptoms of lung cancer are:

  • A cough that does not go away or gets worse
  • Coughing up blood or rust-colored sputum (spit or phlegm)
  • Chest pain that is often worse with deep breathing, coughing or laughing
  • Hoarseness
  • Weight loss and loss of appetite
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling tired or weak
  • Infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia that do not go away or keep coming back
  • New onset of wheezing

“By using this updated platform, it can improve patient outcomes and enhance physician capabilities,” said Dr. Parrish. “Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide, in part because it has no symptoms in its early stages. Because the Monarch Platform provides improved reach, vision and control for bronchoscopic procedures, it holds potential to help us to make a diagnosis earlier.”

ThedaCare is one of the first 50 health systems in the United States to utilize the new Monarch platform.