Breast tumor tagging may reduce repeat US-guided surgery

By staff writers

October 29, 2012 -- Researchers from the University of California, San Diego have developed a method for tagging breast tumors that may reduce the need for follow-up surgery.

By implanting iron-infused biodegradable silica micro/nanospheres as contrast markers for surgical guidance during lumpectomy, the study team believes that follow-up surgeries to resect residual tumor can be reduced by as much as 50% if tumors are marked precisely.

The particles can also be used to destroy tumor tissue with high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) ablative therapy, an approach that has already been used to treat prostate cancer and uterine fibroids, the group explained.

The gas-filled nanoparticles make tumors easier to see, potentially improving surgical precision. Once injected into the breast cancer tumor, they hold fast to the tumor, making it more visible with contrast-enhanced ultrasound, according to the researchers.

The results will be presented at the AVS International Symposium and Exhibition, held October 28 through November 2 in Tampa, FL.

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Last Updated np 10/26/2012 4:49:21 PM