Principal Investigator: A. Aziz Aadam, MD
From development to implementation, new medical advancements often don’t enter into mainstream usage without education and training. Introduced in the 1990s in Japan, minimally-invasive endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD) has become the standard of care for not only treating but also, most importantly, curing early gastrointestinal cancers. While widely accepted practice in Japan and Eastern countries, ESD hasn’t yet gain a foothold in western countries—mainly due to lack of available training from specialists skilled in performing ESD.
Medical centers with the highest volumes of GI procedures typically provide the best ESD training experiences. At the moment, most of those centers operate outside of the United States. Endoscopists with an interest in learning the leading-edge technique must travel abroad and even with the instruction they receive, usually require more education and guidance to shorten the learning curve. Interest in developing ESD programs in this country has grown: Northwestern Medicine launched its ESD program in January 2016, joining the 15 to 20 centers in the country performing ESD. Supported by a grant from the Digestive Health Foundation, investigators led by A. Aziz Aadam, MD, in Northwestern Medicine’s Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, plan to bring much-needed ESD training closer to home. By creating an original video series, they intend to develop a premier educational tool for endoscopists from Western countries.
Dr. Aadam and his co-investigators, including two Japanese endoscopic experts, will produce six 3D animated videos based on real-world examples. The videos will illustrate in detail the best strategies for treating the most commonly encountered lesions in the GI tract, focusing on those found in the stomach and colon. Recorded at Northwestern and at the National Cancer Center Hospital in Tokyo, the six-minute videos will help to ensure optimal use of this advanced technique for the best patient outcomes. Leading the charge in providing educational resources for ESD, the researchers expect that the video series will put Northwestern Medicine on the map as one of the top centers for ESD in the nation.