(HealthDay News) – A novel device that emits an electric field and detects cancerous tissue from its characteristic returning signal, known as MarginProbe, may reduce the rate of re-excision for patients undergoing lumpectomy for breast cancer, without a significant increase in the volume of tissue excised, according to a study presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s annual Breast Cancer Symposium, held from Sept 13–15 in San Francisco.

From a cohort of 596 patients undergoing breast conservation using wire localization, Beth Cutler Freedman, MD, from the Beth Israel Medical Center in Boston, and colleagues randomized 161 patients with pure ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) to MarginProbe or no device (control) following standard of care lumpectomy. Positive readings on MarginProbe required additional resections of the cavity.

The researchers found that total tissue volumes removed during all surgeries (lumpectomy and re-excisions) for patients with DCIS alone was similar between the two groups (83 with MarginProbe vs. 76cc for controls). There was a significant decrease in candidates for re-excision with the device (13 vs. 37%). For patients with DCIS and invasive carcinoma, the results were similar, with no differences in total volume excised but a significant decrease in re-excision candidates with MarginProbe (13 vs. 33%).

“The goal of a lumpectomy is to remove the cancer with a clear margin and preserve the cosmetic appearance of the breast,” a coauthor said in a statement. “This device has shown us, for the first time, that we can reduce the re-excision rate without taking out more volume.”

The study was funded by Dune Medical Devices, the manufacturer of MarginProbe.

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