Pictured left to right: Drs. Jay Wunder, Kim Tsoi, Peter Ferguson
It’s a project 10 years in the making, and one promising renewed hope for patients living with sarcoma cancers.
At the opening of Mount Sinai Hospital’s new ORs and Surgical Services Floor, an operating suite with specialized software for viewing and manipulating images was unveiled. Guided Therapeutics – or GTX – is one of few surgical systems in Ontario for 3D CT in-room imaging, and will provide sarcoma patients with a more comfortable experience, a quicker recovery, and better outcomes.
The Hospital offers the largest multi-disciplinary sarcoma program in Canada, is among the top three in the world for sarcoma research, and provides specialized expertise for patients with typical, rare and complex bone and soft tissue sarcomas.
“You can think of GTX as a Google Map for surgery,” explains Dr. Jay Wunder, Surgeon-in-Chief at Sinai Health, and an orthopaedic oncology surgeon. “A lot of anatomy around tumours is pretty complex, and being able to cut around a tumour is challenging. GTX shows you the route, tells you precisely where you are intra-operatively on a surface relative to a tumour. So when you cut out the tumour, you can do so with a safer margin. And when you reconstruct the area with a transplant bone or a prosthesis, you can use this ‘map’ in reverse.”
An interprofessional team worked together for a decade to develop and tailor the hardware and software for sarcoma. Drs. Kim Tsoi and Peter Ferguson are orthopaedic oncology surgeons looking forward to using GTX in their practice.
“Different surgical navigation systems are available, but they have all been designed for other sub-specialties. We are one of the biggest sarcoma programs to develop a technology with our specific patients in mind. Every other system will have limitations because it wasn’t designed for us, while this one is,” explains Dr. Tsoi.
Dr. Ferguson expands on the imaging system’s transformational capabilities. “This new technology will improve our ability to deliver care. We are really pushing innovation in surgery and innovation in surgical care, and GTX allows us to raise that bar of innovative delivery of care.”
From a teaching perspective, GTX will improve the Hospital’s ability to train surgeons from around the world interested in this speciality. From a research perspective, opportunities abound to shape new sarcoma clinical studies.
“It’s taken a long time to get to this point, and a lot of people. This is very important for pushing the boundaries of innovation, and for how you do better,” says Dr. Wunder. “For sarcoma patients, we now have a superior navigation system, better than what’s available to anyone else.”
GTX is one of the many improvements of Renew Sinai, the largest and most ambitious redevelopment in the history of Mount Sinai Hospital. GTX surgeries are planned for later this year.