Monarch Helps Detect Lung Cancer


CHICAGO, Ill. (Ivanhoe Newswire) —  Lung cancer kills more Americans than breast, prostate and colon cancer combined and like other forms of cancer, the earlier it’s caught, the better chance patients have to survive.  Now a new device is helping doctors diagnose lung cancer in one minimally-invasive procedure.

Fifty-two-year old Ivy Elkins is a wife, mother of two teens and now … an advocate for cancer research and treatment.  Five years ago, Elkins’ world turned upside down.

She said, “I was completely shocked when I found out I had lung cancer.”

Elkins was a non-smoker with no typical risk factors. She went to the doctor with chronic pain in her elbow which turned out to be cancer that started in her lungs and spread to her bones and her brain.

“I didn’t know at that point what I know now. Anybody with lungs can get lung cancer.” Elkins told Ivanhoe.

Elkins, like many patients, had no symptoms until after the cancer had spread.

D. Kyle Hogarth, MD, FCCP, Associate Professor of Medicine, Director of Bronchoscopy at the University of Chicago Medicine worked closely with developers on a new system to diagnose lung cancer at an early stage. It’s called the monarch. Doctors pass a robotic bronchoscope through the patient’s mouth and secure it in one of the main branches of the lung. Using a hand-held control, doctors can pass catheters through the scope into the airways.

(Read Full Interview)

“I can get out now to new regions of the lung and because of the flexibility of the device I can get to spots I couldn’t get to before,” Dr. Hogarth said.

Tiny cameras also allow doctors complete visibility while they biopsy nodules without a patient needing invasive surgery. Elkins is being treated with targeted therapy which is keeping her cancer at bay. She’s thrilled that new research is now helping others at an early stage of the disease.

The Monarch received FDA clearance at the beginning of 2018.  Dr. Hogarth says so far, a handful of major medical centers across the country have begun using the technology for diagnosis. Dr. Hogarth is a consultant with Auris health, the company that helped create the Monarch and owns stock in the company.

Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Field and Supervising Producer; Hayley Hudson, Assistant Producer; Roque Correa, Videographer and Editor.

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TOPIC:            Monarch Helps Detect Lung Cancer

REPORT:       MB #4489

 BACKGROUND: Lung cancer is one of the most common cancers in the world. It is a leading cause of cancer death in men and women in the United States. Cigarette smoking causes most lung cancers. The more cigarettes you smoke per day and the earlier you started smoking, the greater your risk of lung cancer. High levels of pollution, radiation and asbestos exposure may also increase risk. Doctors diagnose lung cancer using a physical exam, imaging, and lab tests. Treatment depends on the type, stage, and how advanced it is. Treatments include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and targeted therapy. Targeted therapy uses substances that attack cancer cells without harming normal cells.


MONARCH: The Monarch Platform integrates the latest advancements in robotics, software, data science, and endoscope innovation, with the goal of dramatically improving patient outcomes, enhancing physician capabilities, and lowering costs to the healthcare system. Auris’ first targeted disease state is lung cancer. The FDA cleared the platform for diagnostic and therapeutic bronchoscopic procedures. The goal of the technology is to enable more accurate diagnosis, and eventually treatment, of small and hard-to-reach nodules in the periphery of the lung. The Monarch Platform utilizes a familiar controller-like interface that physicians use to navigate the flexible robotic endoscope to the periphery of the lung with improved reach, vision, and control. Combining traditional endoscopic views into the lung with computer-assisted navigation based on 3-D models of the patient’s own lung anatomy, the Monarch Platform provides physicians with continuous bronchoscope vision throughout the entire procedure.


LESS LIMITATIONS: In his role as a consultant, D. Kyle Hogarth, MD, FCCP, Associate Professor of Medicine, Director of Bronchoscopy at the University of Chicago Medicine took the earliest iterations of the machine for test drives in models and cadavers and helped keep the developers on task to create something that could truly revolutionize patient care, especially for people with lung cancer. Prior to having the Monarch Platform, Hogarth was more limited in the types of patients he could evaluate and the tissue he could reach. He now has 360-degree visualization in the airways, and a nested scope design allows one scope to stay planted while the second ventures on to the exact spot being targeted, making hard-to-navigate s-curves in the lungs no longer insurmountable.



John Easton, UChicago PR


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Doctor Q and A

Read the entire Doctor Q&A for D. Kyle Hogarth, MD, FCCP, Associate Professor of Medicine, Director of Bronchoscopy

Read the entire Q&A