University researchers use a new method of tumour localization

Bratislava, 20 December 2022: Gynaecologists from Comenius University Bratislava are the first in Slovakia to use the SCOUT® system to locate nonpalpable breast tumours. In December, they successfully used the method on six patients at the 2nd Clinic of Gynaecology and Obstetrics of the Faculty of Medicine of Comenius University and the University Hospital in Bratislava-Ružinov.

20. 12. 2022 19.09 hod.
By: CU External Relations Office

More than one half of all breast carcinomas may not be palpable during a mammographic screening. The masses found in the breast, however, need to be located precisely, so that they can be removed during surgery along with a small amount of healthy tissue that surrounds them.

At present, wires are used to localize the abnormalities. However, this method has its limitations. The wire may break off inside the breast and migrate. A new method has been developed in recent years, during which tiny metal ‘seeds’ are inserted into the tumor and monitored during surgery using radar probes.

"These 'seeds’ mean more comfort for the patient and allow the surgeon to have a better overview of the tissues during the surgery. The seeds can remain in the tumours for several months and this benefits the patients who undergo scheduled preoperative chemotherapy," explains Kamil Pohlodek from the 2nd Clinic of Gynaecology and Obstetrics of the Faculty of Medicine and the University Hospital.

The SCOUT® method was developed in the U.S. and was approved in 2022 by the Slovak State Institute for Drug Control. The method consists of introducing a small radar reflector 'seed', measuring approximately 12x1.6mm, into the tumour. During the surgery, the seed is tracked using a radar probe. The system uses an acoustic signal to help the operating surgeon pin-point the location of the tumour.

"The technology is suitable for early-stage breast cancer. It requires no special surgical tools and the seeds do not produce any artifacts during magnetic resonance imaging." summarises Professor Kamil Pohlodek from Comenius University Bratislava. The method is used by more than 750 centres world-wide and has been applied in 200,000 procedures.