Health Discoveries in Breast Cancer

Radiofrequency energy may lead to fewer surgeries for women with breast cancer

May 3, 2010
A California clinical trial is testing a device that uses radiofrequency energy that may cause less tissue damage in gathering pathology samples from patients with breast cancer.

Surgeons at the Moores University of California at San Diego Cancer Center are hoping the device, which has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, will make tumor removal easier and more thorough in lumpectomy procedures, ensuring that all the cancer has been removed. Current surgical tools may cause heat damage to the tissue samples while they detect cancerous cells on the edges of tumors.

"The challenge in performing a lumpectomy is to completely remove all tumor so that a repeat surgery is not needed," said Dr. Sarah Blair, associate clinical professor of surgery at the UC San Diego School of Medicine. "Tools that utilize electrical energy may distort or damage tissue. Moores UCSD Cancer Center is studying low temperature energy sources which may provide better pathology samples."

Within the North Shore-LIJ Health System, a clinical trial is evaluating whether partial breast radiation or whole breast radiation is more effective for preventing a recurrence of the disease in patients who have had a lumpectomy.ADNFCR-2730-ID-19755611-ADNFCR
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