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New 'seed' therapy helps pinpoint breast tumors with more accuracy
Date:10/11/2007

DALLAS Oct. 11, 2007 Physicians at UT Southwestern Medical Center are the first in Texas to use a new technique in which a small radioactive pellet, or seed, is implanted into a mass or suspicious lesion in the breast to pinpoint its exact location for surgical removal.

During the procedure, a radiologist uses a needle to insert a small radioactive seed, about the size of a grain of rice, into the mass. Once lodged, surgeons use a wand that detects radioactivity to locate the mass and find the best pathway for removal.

The new technique is less invasive for the patient and allows us to be more precise when removing possible breast-cancer tumors, said Dr. Roshni Rao, a surgical oncologist who specializes in breast cancer.

Dr. Rao, an assistant professor of surgery, teamed up with Dr. Michael Ulissey, an associate professor of radiology at UT Southwestern, to use this new procedure at Parkland Memorial Hospital. The procedure is offered at only two other U.S. medical centers. Dr. Rao said the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center at UT Southwestern also will soon begin offering the procedure.

Previously, a radiologist would lance a thin, hooked wire into the breast to help guide the surgeon to the location of the mass. While one end of the wire was lodged at or near the mass, the other end protruded from the patients skin.

Often, Dr. Rao said, the entry site of the wire was distant from the ideal site where a surgeon would prefer to make an incision. The wire also did not always take a direct path to the lesion.

The seed procedure pinpoints the location of a nonpalpable tumor more accurately than the wire and it is more efficient, Dr. Rao said. The wire method, on the other hand, requires patients to undergo the pre-operative procedure just hours before surgery because if left in longer, the wire could become dislodged.

With the seed technique, the patient can have the seed inserted up to f
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Contact: Connie Piloto
connie.piloto@utsouthwestern.edu
214-648-3404
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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