MRI and Optical Scanning During Surgery Accurately Locate Small Breast Cancer Tumors

NCCC

March 27, 2014

Physicians at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center have collaborated with engineers from Dartmouth's Thayer School of Engineering to develop a new approach to breast-conserving surgery that simplifies the procedure for women whose breast cancer is too small to be felt.  By combining magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) before surgery with optical scanning during surgery they are able to accurately locate small breast cancer tumors for removal. Their findings, "Supine Breast MRI and 3D Optical Scanning: A Novel Approach to Improve Tumor Localization for Breast Conserving Surgery," were recently published in Annals of Surgical Oncology.

"We have developed a technique that gives the surgeon, at the time of surgery, a 3-D picture of where the cancer is in the breast using MRI," said Richard J. Barth Jr., MD, section chief, General Surgery, associate professor of Surgery, Geisel School of Medicine, Dartmouth and member of the Norris Cotton Cancer Center. "This is the first time that optical scanning and MRI have been combined to localize breast cancer."...

...This initial pilot study was funded by the Dartmouth Center for Clinical and Translational Research (SYNERGY). Co-authors on the study were Matthew J. Pallone, PhD; Steven P. Poplack, MD; Hima Bindu R. Avutu, MD; and Keith D. Paulsen, PhD.

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