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European Academy for Robotic Colorectal Surgery based at the Champalimaud Foundation

EARCS launched at the Champalimaud Foundation Symposium on "Pelvic Happiness for Pelvic Cancer Patients - Function Preservation by Treatment Precision".

  1. 13.2.2015

    Today, at the Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown in Lisbon, Portugal a multidisciplinary panel of world-renowned experts met to discuss how best to preserve "pelvic happiness" in patients suffering from pelvic tumours during the symposium on “Pelvic Happiness for Pelvic Cancer Patients - Function Preservation by Treatment Precision”. The Champalimaud Foundation, used the platform of the symposium to announce the launch of the European Academy for Robotic Colorectal Surgery (EARCS), an exciting new surgical training programme designed to meet the growing interest in adopting robotic surgery, particularly for rectal resection.

    Laparoscopy has become the gold standard for the treatment of colorectal cancer in the Western World. It is associated with better short-term outcomes, such as less postoperative pain, less blood loss, reduced analgesia requirement and shorter hospital stay. Whilst laparoscopic colonic surgery is relatively easy to perform with minimal impact on oncological outcomes, laparoscopic rectal cancer surgery is associated with higher morbidity and higher rates of conversion to open procedure. Pelvic surgery for rectal cancer presents the technical problems of bony confines, access and exposure issues, that makes this surgery technically very challenging. With a robotic surgical system, some of these technical issues of exposure, access and wrist manipulation can be overcome.

    The EARCS training programme is designed to improve patient outcomes for European colorectal cancer patients by improving the entire surgeon learning pathway for minimally invasive surgery, including technology, training, mentor relationships and data evaluation. EARCS will be directed by two of the foremost experts of laparoscopic and robotic surgery in the world: Professor Amjad Parvaiz from the Champalimaud Foundation in Lisbon (Portugal) and Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth (UK); and Professor Giuseppe Spinoglio of the Istituto Clinico Humanitas in Milan (Italy). 

    The EARCS faculty includes 14 leading surgeons in 7 European countries. Central coordination for EARCS is based at the Champalimaud Foundation and training will be given by the following participating centres with the robotic da Vinci® Surgical System:

    • Aarhus University Hospital, Arahus (Denmark)
    • Herlev Hospital, Herlev (Denmark)
    • Oulu University Hospital, Oulu (Finland)
    • ICM Montpellier, Montpellier (France)
    • Hôpital Diaconesses Croix St Simon, Paris (France)
    • Augusta Kliniken Bochum Hattingen, Bocham (Germany)
    • University Clinical Complex Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg (Germany)
    • University Clinic Schleswig-Holstein, Kiel (Germany)
    • Istituto Clinico Humanitas, Milan (Italy)
    • Policinico Agostino Gemelli - Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Rome (Italy)
    • Valdecilla University Hospital, Santander (Spain)
    • Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth (UK)
    • St James’s University Hospital, Leeds (UK)

    It is envisioned that the Champalimaud Clinical Centre in Lisbon (Portugal) will also have the robotic da Vinci® Surgical System in the next year and become one of the EARCS training centres, leading the world in precision robotic surgery for colorectal cancer.

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