Israel’s Dune Medical Devices has developed an instrument to help women with breast cancer avoid undergoing dreaded follow-up surgery to remove residual cancer cells after a tumour is removed. The device is already being used by surgeons on patients in more than 100 hospitals in the US and in Israeli medical centres.
When women undergo lumpectomies to remove breast cancers, the cancerous tissue is then sent to labs to ensure that the margins surrounding the tumour are clear of cancerous cells, so that the patients are truly cancer-free. Unfortunately, statistics show that when lab results are released, after a process that can take several weeks, one in four women is asked to return for re-excision — secondary surgery — if the tumours tested reveal that the margins are not clear, indicating some cancer cells remain in the patient’s body.
“We have developed the only technology in the world that has a commercial product that allows surgeons in operating rooms, in real time, to check the margins of the tumour, identify cancerous tissue and decide on the spot if more tissue needs to be removed or not,” Gal Aharonowitz, general manager in charge of Israeli operations, told The Times of Israel in a phone interview.
Clinical trials show that the company’s MarginProbe device reduces the need for re-excision by 51 per cent, if it is used during the initial procedure, Aharonowitz said. Commercial use of the product has shown a drop of as much as 80 per cent in the need for repeat surgery, he said.Thursday, February 16, 2017