Advances in cancer surgery: Natural orifice surgery (NOTES) for oncological diseases

Minimally Invasive Surgery Program, Legacy Health, Portland OR, USA.
Surgical Oncology (Impact Factor: 2.37). 09/2011; 20(3):211-8. DOI: 10.1016/j.suronc.2010.07.005
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery (NOTES) is a new concept that attempts to reduce the impact of surgery on the patient. In surgical oncology several studies have already revealed that a minimally invasive approach provides at least the same, if not a better, long-term outcome. One could hypothesize that a less invasive approach such as NOTES could further enhance such advantages. Since its initial description, NOTES has become clinical reality and today nearly every organ is accessible by a transluminal approach, in at least the experimental setting. Subsequent to published research, first clinical studies on NOTES in oncology were reported and the accuracy of transgastric peritoneoscopy for staging of pancreas cancer was shown to be similar to laparoscopy in humans. A NOTES gastro-jejunostomy via transgastric access has also been proposed to decrease invasiveness of palliative treatment of duodenal, biliary and pancreatic cancers. Colorectal cancer resection via transanal access would offer a clear-cut patient advantage over laparoscopic and would not be subject to the frequent criticism of violating an innocent second organ, as the colon or rectum is always breached in a colectomy. Natural orifice endoluminal therapies, such as endoscopic submucosal dissection, already have been clinically applied for several years. Improved techniques or instruments evolving from NOTES technology might enhance its widespread use for the treatment of early malignancies and thereby again will provide a tremendous benefit for the patient. Although still somewhat controversial, the subject of natural orifice surgery in oncological disease indicates that current laboratory efforts to introduce NOTES into cancer surgery could be ready for cautious clinical investigations. The final determination of patient benefit will need well-constructed prospective study.

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    ABSTRACT: We performed an evaluation of models, techniques, and applicability to the clinical setting of natural orifice surgery (mainly natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery [NOTES]) primarily in general surgery procedures. NOTES has attracted much attention recently for its potential to establish a completely alternative approach to the traditional surgical procedures performed entirely through a natural orifice. Beyond the potentially scar-free surgery and abolishment of dermal incision-related complications, the safety and efficacy of this new surgical technology must be evaluated. Studies were identified by searching MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, and Entrez PubMed from 2007 to February 2011. Most of the references were identified from 2009 to 2010. There were limitations as far as the population that was evaluated (only human beings, no cadavers or animals) was concerned, but there were no limitations concerning the level of evidence of the studies that were evaluated. The studies that were deemed applicable for our review were published mainly from 2007 to 2010 (see Methods section). All the evaluated studies were conducted only in human beings. We studied the most common referred in the literature orifices such as vaginal, oral, gastric, esophageal, anal, or urethral. The optimal access route and method could not be established because of the different nature of each procedure. We mainly studied procedures in the field of general surgery such as cholecystectomy, intestinal cancers, renal cancers, appendectomy, mediastinoscopy, and peritoneoscopy. All procedures were feasible and most of them had an uneventful postoperative course. A number of technical problems were encountered, especially as far as pure NOTES procedures are concerned, which makes the need of developing new endoscopic instruments, to facilitate each approach, undeniable. NOTES is still in the early stages of development and more robust technologies will be needed to achieve reliable closure and overcome technical challenges. Well-designed studies in human beings need to be conducted to determine the safety and efficacy of NOTES in a clinical setting. Among these NOTES approaches, the transvaginal route seems less complicated because it virtually eliminates concerns for leakage and fistulas. The transvaginal approach further favors upper-abdominal surgeries because it provides better maneuverability to upper-abdominal organs (eg, liver, gallbladder, spleen, abdominal esophagus, and stomach). The stomach is considered one of the most promising targets because this large organ, once adequately mobilized, can be transected easily with a stapler. The majority of the approaches seem to be feasible even with the equipment used nowadays, but to achieve better results and wider applications to human beings, the need to develop new endoscopic instruments to facilitate each approach is necessary.
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    ABSTRACT: Human natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery (NOTES) has mainly been based on simultaneous laparoscopic assistance (hybrid NOTES), forgoing the theoretical benefits of the NOTES technique. This is due to a lack of NOTES-specific instruments and endoscopes, making pure-NOTES procedures difficult and time consuming. An area where pure NOTES could be adopted at its present stage of development is minimally invasive staging of gastrointestinal (GI) cancer. The aim of this study is to evaluate the feasibility of combining transgastric (TG) pure-NOTES peritoneoscopy and intraperitoneal endoscopic ultrasonography (ip-EUS) with intraluminal EUS (il-EUS) for peritoneal evaluation. This was a feasibility and survival study where il-EUS followed by ip-EUS and peritoneoscopy was performed in 10 pigs subjected to TG pure NOTES. A score was given with regard to achieved visualisation of predefined anatomical structures. Survival was assessed at postoperative day (POD) 14. All animals survived until POD 14. Median total procedural time was 94 min (range 74-130 min). Median time for il-EUS, ip-EUS and peritoneoscopy was 11 min (range 7-14 min), 13 min (range 8-20 min) and 10 min (range 6-23 min). Il-EUS, ip-EUS and peritoneoscopy resulted in a score of 15/15 points (range 14-15 points), 6/9 points (range 1-8 points) and 12/13 points (range 8-13 points). TG pure-NOTES peritoneoscopy and ip-EUS combined with il-EUS is feasible and provides sufficient peritoneal evaluation. The technique could have potential for minimally invasive staging of GI cancers.
    Surgical Endoscopy 12/2011; 26(6):1629-36. DOI:10.1007/s00464-011-2082-6 · 3.31 Impact Factor


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