April 27, 2015
Atlantis, FL – Many patients undergoing lumpectomy surgery at JFK Medical Center for the removal of breast cancer are benefitting from new intra-operative technology that detects microscopic amounts of cancer cells within 1 mm of the edges of removed tissue, which are otherwise not visible during the surgery.
JFK Medical Center is the first in Florida to utilize MarginProbe(r) for early stage breast cancer. Manufactured and marketed by Dune Medical Devices, MarginProbe utilizes non-destructive radio-frequency spectroscopy technology in the operating room to analyze the outer margins of removed tissue to detect traces of cancer cells. If cancer cells are detected along the margins of the removed tissue, the surgeon excises additional tissue from the surgical site to ensure that no additional cancer cells remain. After surgeons take out breast tumors, they sometimes have to perform a second operation to ensure removal of all traces of cancer. Having to undergo a second lumpectomy – something that happens in approximately 20 percent of lumpectomy cases – adds to a patient’s mental strain, according to breast surgeon Dr. Beth-Ann Lesnikoski, medical director of the Breast Institute at JFK Medical Center in Atlantis.
Dr. Lesnikoski explains “This technology is fantastic. The studies have shown that no matter what the rate of positive margins the surgeon had before, MarginProbe will reduce that by 60 percent. That means that before, 1 out of five patients would have to have surgery again. Now it means less than 1 out of 10 will have to have a second surgery.”
The device’s analysis of a tumor’s edges (or margins) is complete in about five minutes. When an alert indicates cancer may be present at a tumor’s edges, the surgeon will, most often, remove more tissue at the corresponding spot in the body. That prevents the need for a second surgery in many cases.
MarginProbe’s greatest benefit is that it provides added assurance to both the surgeon and the patient that all cancer cells are removed during the initial surgery.
Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer affecting women in the U.S., with over 285,000 new cases diagnosed each year. It is estimated that between 60 to 75 percent of these patients opt for a lumpectomy – the removal of the cancerous lesion, but not the entire breast. Most patients will undergo some form of post-surgical treatment, either chemotherapy or radiation therapy, or a combination of the two.