Robotic Lobectomy vs. Thoracoscopic Lobectomy for Early Stage Lung Cancer: RCT

  • End date
    Sep 13, 2031
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton
Updated on 24 February 2022
lung cancer
thoracoscopic surgery
lung lobectomy
video-assisted thoracic surgery
pulmonary resection
lung carcinoma


During video-assisted thoracoscopic lobectomy (VATS), the surgeon inserts a small camera attached to a thoracoscope that puts the image onto a video screen. Instruments are inserted via small incisions, and the lung resection is completed. Robotic thoracic surgery (RTS) uses a similar minimally invasive approach, but the very precise instruments involved with RTS allow the surgeon to view the lung using 3-dimensional imaging. The instruments give the surgeons increased range of motion during the surgery, and research demonstrates that RTS has a less steep learning curve as compared to VATS. Both VATS and RTS demonstrated better results as compared to traditional thoracotomy (open surgery). However, Robotic lobectomy has not yet been compared directly to video-assisted thoracoscopic lobectomy (VATS) in a prospective manner.

There are two major barriers against the widespread adoption of robotic thoracic surgery. The first barrier is the lack of high-quality prospective data. To our knowledge, there are no prospective trials comparing VATS to RTS for early stage lung cancer. The second major barrier to the widespread adoption of robotic technology in thoracic surgery is the perceived higher cost of Robotic lobectomy. To address these barriers, the investigators will undertake the first randomized controlled trial comparing Thoracoscopic Lobectomy to Robotic Lobectomy for early stage lung cancer.

Prospective randomization will eliminate the biases of retrospective data and will serve to determine whether there exist any advantages to Health Related Quality of life (HRQOL) or patient outcomes in favour of Robotic Lobectomy over VATS Lobectomy. Furthermore, through a prospective cost-utility analysis, this trial will provide the highest quality data to evaluate the true economic impact of robotic technology in thoracic surgery in a Canadian health system.

Condition Non-small Cell Lung Cancer, Thoracic Surgery
Treatment Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery, Robotic thoracic surgery
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT02617186
SponsorSt. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton
Last Modified on24 February 2022


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Age >/= 18 years
Clinical stage I, II or IIIa non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)
Candidates for minimally invasive pulmonary lobectomy, as determined by the operating surgeon

Exclusion Criteria

Clinical stage IIIb or IV NSCLC
Not a candidate for minimally invasive surgery
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