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Medicine Robotics Hardware News Science

Crab Robot Helps Remove Stomach Cancer 83

redletterdave writes "Singaporean researchers have created a miniature robot with a pincer and a hook that can remove early-stage stomach cancers without leaving any scars. Mounted on an endoscope, it enters the patient's gut through the mouth. It has a pincer to hold cancerous tissues, and a hook that slices them off and coagulates blood to stop bleeding. With the help of a tiny camera attached to the endoscope, the surgeon sees what's inside the gut and controls the robotic arms remotely while sitting in front of a monitor screen. The robot has already helped remove early-stage stomach cancers in five patients in Hong Kong and India, using a fraction of the time normally taken in open and keyhole surgeries that put patients at higher risk of infection and leave behind scars."
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Crab Robot Helps Remove Stomach Cancer

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  • Remote control tools (Score:5, Informative)

    by AxeTheMax ( 1163705 ) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @06:34PM (#38897065)
    That's what it is, a remote tool controlled by the surgeon. Not a robot which would work independently.
  • by Anomalyst ( 742352 ) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @06:45PM (#38897177)
    and thought "Great, yet another shiny Apple iDevice"
  • by pavon ( 30274 ) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @06:53PM (#38897251)

    The Globe and Mail is also running this story and they included a picture of the device [], just like every other site that ran the Reuters story. But thank you slashdot for continuing to link to shitty IBT stories, because I had never seen a crab before.

  • by callmetom ( 2564045 ) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @07:31PM (#38897609)
    Found it []
  • by Genda ( 560240 ) <> on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @07:37PM (#38897661) Journal

    No, the lymphoma would still be present and just metastasize to some other organ/tissue. This might treat the tumor in the stomach, but it would only be a stop gap measure with limited viability in the long haul. There are other recent technologies however that might make a difference, including monoclonal antibodies carrying everything from toxins and markers for the immune system to nano-particles of metals that can convert various EMR into heat and kill tumors and cancer cells. You may want to do a quick look up for animal experimentation for cancer research to see if anyone in your area is conducting research for feline lymphoma.

  • by kaliann ( 1316559 ) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @11:27PM (#38899335)

    IAAV. Very sorry to hear about your cat. I can try to offer you some information, but I encourage you to discuss options with your vet.

      Lymphoma, one of the most common forms of cancer in cats, cannot generally be cured by excision. By the time of diagnosis it is frequently in multiple organs, and it spreads easily by lymphatic ducts and blood vessels. Lymphoma has many different forms, and these vary in prognosis, so it may be worth your while to pursue further diagnostics to determine which type is being faced (B-cell, T-cell, acute, chronic, large cell, small cell, granular cell, virus associated, etc.).

    Chemotherapy is available for cats, and many vets have access to basic protocols for lymphoma or can refer you to a veterinary oncologist (cancer specialist).

    Please understand that the goals for veterinary chemotherapy are generally much different than in human medicine. Human medicine usually aims for a complete cure, and that can mean putting the patient through a very stressful - sometimes debilitating - regimen of potent drugs. By contrast, veterinary medicine considers "good time" to be a worthy goal if cure is unlikely. For example: if the highest doses of treatment return a 5% survival rate but a poor quality of life under treatment, this is unlikely to be recommended by your vet. (S)he will more likely recommend a regimen that prolongs your pet's life without severely decreasing its quality. We try to keep pets as happy/comfortable as we can for as long as we can.

    Also, even in cases where cancer-killing chemotherapy is likely to be unrewarding, anti-inflammatory and steroid drugs can provide relief from discomfort and sometimes slow progression. They also tend to be inexpensive compared to the more aggressive protocols.

    I wish you the best of luck.

    The original question of whether or not this would work on cats: a small enough version could work on cats, but a veterinarian would have to have access to it. It will be a while before this is widespread in the human market, let alone in the veterinary world. It is essentially an (immense!) improvement on the non-robotic biopsy tools already in use in endoscopy, with a lovely cautery feature built in.

Thus spake the master programmer: "When a program is being tested, it is too late to make design changes." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"