The Minimally Invasive Surgical Center at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) has performed its 100th robot-assisted radical cystectomy for advanced bladder cancer using the da Vinci® Surgical Robotic System which distinguishes RPCI as one of the world's premier academic institutions for the procedure.

Khurshid A. Guru, MD, Director of Robotic Surgery, Department of Urologic Oncology at RPCI, said, "This pioneering technique offers patients with bladder cancer a less-invasive treatment option that has several potential advantages over traditional open and laparoscopic surgery."

More than 60 percent of patients with bladder cancer are over 65 years old. For many of those patients, co-morbidities preclude the possibility of open surgery, the standard treatment for advanced bladder cancer. Robot-assisted cystectomy provides a treatment option which has several benefits for patients, which include a shorter hospital stay, less pain, less blood loss, less risk of infection and a faster recovery.

"Many academic centers have attempted to use minimally invasive laparoscopic techniques for the surgical treatment of advanced bladder cancer," said Hyung Kim, MD, Director of Laparoscopic Surgery at RPCI. "However, the robot-assisted approach offers several advantages, such as improved visualization and greater access to anatomic structures. These advantages may translate into better oncologic outcomes and quicker postoperative recovery."

"Dr. Guru modified the robotic technique to allow others to perform this difficult surgery more easily. We are proud to be at the forefront of minimally invasive surgery and that Roswell Park is the first center in the world to reach the milestone of 100 patients treated with robot assistance," added James Mohler, MD, Chair, Department of Urologic Oncology, RPCI.

The sophisticated tool incorporates the latest advances in robotics and computer technology. Robot-assisted surgery extends the surgeon's capabilities by providing a three-dimensional view of the operating field and improves access to the surgical site through small ports that eliminate the need for a large incision. The benefits of robot-assisted surgery that have been demonstrated for the treatment of prostate cancer may now be extended to patients with advanced bladder cancer.

Approximately 68,810 new cases of bladder cancer will be diagnosed in the United States in 2008. Bladder cancer is four times more likely to be found in men than women and is the fourth most frequent cancer diagnosed in men and the ninth most frequent cancer diagnosed in women.

Roswell Park Cancer Institute, founded in 1898, is the nation's first cancer research, treatment and education center. The Institute was one of the first cancer centers in the country to be named a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center and remains the only facility with this designation in Upstate New York. RPCI is a member of the prestigious National Comprehensive Cancer Network, an alliance of the nation's leading cancer centers; maintains affiliate sites; and is a partner in national and international collaborative programs.

For more information, visit RPCI's website at roswellpark

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