Secure precision surgery
Shifting the curve towards cancer survival
Improved diagnosis and treatment, especially if the diagnosis is at an early stage of disease, or if the treatment is personalized, means that there is now a positive trend towards patients reverting from terminal to chronic illness, or even being completely cured, with shrinkage of tumors prior to a consequently less extensive surgery being required. However, survival rates for certain cancers, such as pancreatic, remain low, and there is a high variation in outcomes across the world1.
The role of Tecan in precision cancer surgery
How can Tecan help with cancer treatment in the area of surgical intervention? One answer lies in the contract development and manufacture of various instruments and modules for the medical market by Paramit, acquired by Tecan in 2021. At the heart of Paramit’s innovative zero-defect mechanical assembly process lies a computer-assisted proprietary manufacturing system known as vPoke, which controls all inputs and instructions, simplifying the assembly process. The vPoke system ensures each unit is built identically using the same sequences, tolerances, and parts – regardless of the operator. The team is also very conversant with the ways energy can be delivered to human tissue, and its effects on the body. For example, acoustic shockwave therapy has been shown to reduce scar tissue, and tissue heating has been used in a variety of different surgical applications.
Robot-assisted surgery improves recovery
In a striking example where Paramit technology has positively impacted cancer treatment, Paramit uses vPoke to manufacture key sub-modules for robotic-assisted surgical systems2. To date there are thousands of peer-reviewed publications using a leading robotic surgery system, also for general surgery. This system allows access to hard-to-reach cancers in the lung and other tissues, whether for treatment, or for the biopsies required during diagnosis. Equally importantly, the precision afforded by robot-assisted surgery improves patient safety and recovery time. For example, robotic-assisted lobectomy in lung cancer patients is associated with fewer postoperative complications3 than open surgery, including bleeding and the need for blood transfusions. Put simply: more precise surgeries succeed more often.