Featured Article

First Robotic SPECT for Minimally Invasive Sentinel Lymph Node Mapping

B. Fuerst, J. Sprung, F. Pinto, B. Frisch, et al
IEEE Trans Med Imaging, vol. 35, issue 3, March 2016

The involvement of lymph nodes in patients with early stage cervical cancer is one of the most important prognostic factors of survival. Fortunately, in up to 70% of the women surgically treated for this cancer no involvements of the lymph nodes are present. However, the radical removal of all lymph nodes is associated with a substantial treatment-related morbidity, which is significantly lower when identifying the Sentinel Lymph Nodes (SLN) and limiting the dissection to these. The first robotic SPECT for minimally invasive SLN mapping introduces intra-operative SPECT reconstruction in the surgical site taking advantage of the robot-assisted  surgical systems for flexible in-patient data acquisition. The system integrates the novel miniaturized drop-in gamma detector, which can be picked up using a da Vinci (Intuitive Surgical) tool. Advanced tracking algorithms allow for the reconstruction of a SPECT volume, which is overlaid onto the optical view to guide the surgeon towards the important sentinel lymph nodes.