Improving Health Outcomes for Patients

The ability to diagnose lung cancer in its earliest stages – when treatments are most effective – is critical to stopping progression of the disease and to saving more lives. Minimally invasive, image-guided and robotic surgical techniques allow surgeons to view, localize, track and treat lung cancer with therapies that blend imaging, radiation and surgery at University Health Network (UHN). These procedures are performed through incisions which require only a stitch or two to close — or even without incisions, by navigating through the airway to the inner parts of the lung. They can therefore be used to treat patients who are otherwise too sick or too elderly to undergo traditional surgery.

Dr. Kazuhiro Yasufuku and his team of visionary lung surgeons are leading discovery in this field. ‘‘The advances that we will make at TGH over the next decade will be game-changing,’’ says Dr. Yasufuku. ‘‘As we develop new technologies, we will be able to detect early-stage cancer more effectively, treat more people, and prevent their cancer from returning.’’

Dr. Kazuhiro Yasufuku: World Leader in Lung Cancer Surgery and Treatment

Dr. Yasufuku – one of the most internationally respected thoracic surgeons, with special expertise in minimally invasive, image-guided and robotic diagnostics and therapeutics for lung cancer – was recruited to UHN from Chiba University in Chiba, Japan in 2008. Among his many titles, Dr. Yasufuku is Director of the Interventional Thoracic Surgery Program; Director of Endoscopy; the Clinical Lead for Thoracic Surgery within the Guided Therapeutics Program; and Head of the Robotic Thoracic Surgery Program at UHN.

Dr. Yasufuku has established UHN as the world’s foremost centre of excellence for the development of new surgical techniques and technologies for the diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer. Thanks to the generosity of his philanthropic supporters, he has attracted a stellar team of surgeon-scientists to help drive this research forward, quickly translating discoveries from the research laboratory to the operating room.


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Unexpected Passing of the President of Joyous Life Music Foundation, Cynthia Lai