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The REVATE trial protocol was published by Yin Kai Chao et al. in Trials. This multicenter RCT aims to compare Robotic-assisted Esophagectomy versus Video-assisted Thoracoscopic Esophagectomy. Primary endpoint: rate of unsuccessful lymph node dissection along the left RLN. Read the abstract on our new Clinical Trials page or click here to access the full study protocol in Trials.

LEGAL ESTABLISHMENT OF UGIRA BY NOTORIAL DEED OF FORMATION

On 21 May 2019, the Upper GI International Robotic Association (UGIRA) was legally established. This is an important milestone in the pursuit of UGIRA’s key aims, which are to form effective training programs that involve proctoring, to initiate international studies through web-based registries, and to establish standardized guidelines for robotic esophageal and gastric surgical procedures.

A prospective trial comparing robot-assisted minimally invasive esophagectomy (RAMIE) versus open esophagectomy was carried out in the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (New York, USA). Sarkaria et al. concluded that RAMIE is associated with less postoperative pain and fewer pulmonary and infectious complications. Click here to read the article in the Annals of Thoracic Surgery

“…The facilitation and promotion of structured training pathways is one of the key aims of the ‘Upper GI International Robotic Association (UGIRA)’, which was established in 2017 and serves as an important platform to connect surgeons who are willing to implement RAMIE (and other robot-assisted esophagogastric techniques) to proctors worldwide.”
Click here to read the article in the Annals of Surgical Oncology.

A chapter on Robot-Assisted Thoracolaparoscopic Esophagectomy was recently published in the Atlas of Robotic Thoracic Surgery (authors: Roy Verhage, Christiaan Kroese, Richard van Hillegersberg). The Atlas also includes chapters on other robotic thoracic surgical procedures, such as fundoplication, Heller myotomy, and lobectomy. The chapter on esophagectomy can be reviewed by clicking here.

On the 31st of January 2019, Richard van Hillegersberg and Feike Kingma presented the status of the UGIRA Registry at the Intuitive Clinical Research Grant Symposium, as Intuitive Surgical Inc. has supported this initiative. From the years 2016-2018, a total of 408 robot-assisted minimally invasive esophagectomy (RAMIE) cases have been registered by 9 centers located in Europe, Asia and South-America.  

On March 7-8, 2019, the annual ESSO course on Minimally Invasive Gastrectomy and Esophagectomy will be once again organized in Utrecht. The program consists of scientific lectures in the morning, followed by hands-on sessions in the afternoon. Robotic elements will be extensively addressed during the program of this course. Unfortunately the registration for this course has closed. For more information, click here.

On 28-30 November 2018, a course on Minimally Invasive Esophagectomy will be organized by the departmentof Cardiothoracic Surgery of the University of Pittsburgh (chairman: James Luketich). Richard van Hillegersberg, Peter Grimminger, Edward Cheong, and Blair Marshall will be part of the invited faculty.  Click here to visit the website.

The ROBOT-trial, which compared robot-assisted minimally invasive esophagectomy (RAMIE) versus open esophagectomy, has been published in the Annals of Surgery. RAMIE is superior to open esophagectomy regarding postoperative complications, pain, length of hospital stay, and quality of life. Lymph node yield and radicality rate are comparable.

The second UGIRA meeting was organized in Vienna during the congres of the International Society for Diseases of the Esophagus (ISDE) on September 17th, 2018. During this, meeting, the first results from the UGIRA Registry were presented and the future directions of the society were discussed.  Click here for the minutes.

On May 31st 2018, the first UGIRA meeting was organized in London during the congress of the European Society for Endoscopic Surgery (EAES). It was a great success thanks to all the inspiring presentations and discussions. The next meeting will be organized during the congres of the International Society for Diseases of the Esophagus (ISDE). Click here for the minutes of the meeting.

Together with a patient, Peter Grimmminger elaborated on esophageal cancer and the principles of robotic surgery during the television show ‘Volle Kanne’. The show was broadcasted by ZDF network, which is a German national tv station.  Click here to see the video (in German).

In January 2018, Asif Chaudry had the honour of welcoming Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, to The Royal Marsden in London. Prince William has been the President of The Royal Marsden since 2007 and visits the hospital regularly. This time he observed a robot-assisted esophagectomy that was performed for esophageal cancer.  More information can be found here.