A minimally invasive surgical approach developed by head and neck surgeons at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicinehas been cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The Da Vinci Surgical System (Intuitive Surgical, Inc., Sunnyvale, California) has been cleared for TransOral otolaryngologic surgical procedures to treat benign tumors and select malignant tumors in adults.
“TORS has dramatically improved the way we treat head and neck cancer patients, completely removing tumors while preserving speech, swallowing, and other key quality of life issues,” said Bert O’Malley, Jr., MD, professor and chairman of Penn Medicine’s Department of Otorhinolaryngology:Head and Neck Surgery.
“It is very exciting that a concept conceived at PENN, evaluated in pre-clinical experimental models at PENN, tested in clinical trials at PENN, and then taught to key surgeons and institutions both within the U.S. and internationally has been officially recognized by our federal governing agencies and peers around the world as a new and improved therapy for select neck cancers and all benign tumors.”
“Based on our data and patient outcomes, coupled with the national and international enthusiasm and interest for TORS, we are changing the way oropharyngeal cancer and tumors will be treated now and in years to come,” noted Gregory Weinstein, MD, FACS, professor and vice chair of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine’s Department of Otorhinolaryngology: Head and Neck Surgery, director of the Division of Head and Neck Surgery and current president of The Society of Robotic Surgery. “We are already investigating new TORS treatments for other conditions such as sleep apnea, and collaborating with colleagues in Penn Neurosurgery to use TORS to remove skull base tumors and repair cervical spine disease.”The Penn TORS program developed an international training program that has trained numerous surgical teams from 12 different countries, many of whom have started establishing TORS programs at their respective institutions. With the FDA clearance of the da Vinci System for transoral otolaryngology, Penn Medicine will immediately expand its well established training program to include surgical teams from the United States.
Dr. Weinstein and O’Malley have no financial ties or consulting agreement with the surgical company.
For more information about the Penn TORS Program, please visit http://www.uphs.upenn.edu/pennorl/research/tors/ or call 215-349-5390.
A 2005 Penn Medicine press release on TORS can be found online at: http://www.uphs.upenn.edu/news/News_Releases/may05/TORS.htm
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