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Dartmouth Cancer Researchers' Cancer Surgery Innovation Named Product of Year

Nov 04, 2021   |   NH Business Review

"The Breast Cancer Locator, developed by CairnSurgical Inc., a medtech company with roots at Dartmouth, was chosen Oct. 28 by viewers and judges as the NH Tech Alliance's 2021 Product of the Year," reports NH Business Review.

"The BCL, as the product is known, is a custom form 3D-printed at CairnSurgical for each patient based on her own anatomy and tumor size and location. The form is used as a guide along with supine (patient lying faceup) MRI data and proprietary software to assist surgeons in locating and removing breast tumors to reduce positive margins, or cancer at the edge of the lumpectomy tissue. Removing the cancer completely in one surgery reduces the need for additional surgeries, and can potentially provide a better cosmetic result for patients and allow surgeons more time to help more patients, while reducing costs for the hospital.

"In 33 pilot cases at the cancer center and at several other sites in New Hampshire and New England, use of the BCL resulted in zero positive margins and repeat surgeries. The product is now in a 450-patient global study.

"The product was developed in part by Keith D. Paulsen, a professor of engineering at Dartmouth and co-director of the Translational Engineering in Cancer research program at the Norris Cotton Cancer Center, along with Dartmouth-Hitchcock surgical oncologist Richard J. Barth Jr., a member of the TEC.

"'I think the current clinical trial will be positive from everything that I can see,' says Paulsen. 'The device works, and we think it could be easily adopted into the operating room.'

"Paulsen, Barth and former Dartmouth faculty member Venkat Krishnaswamy are co-founders of CairnSurgical, which was created based on research emerging from Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and Dartmouth's Geisel School of Medicine and Thayer School of Engineering."

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