Feasibility of magnetic marker localisation for non-palpable breast cancer

B. Schermers*, Jos A. van der Hage, C.E. Loo, M.T.F.D. Vrancken Peeters, H. A.O. Winter-Warnars, F.H. Duijnhoven, B. ten Haken, S.H. Muller, T. J.M. Ruers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Objectives Accurate tumour localisation is essential for breast-conserving surgery of non-palpable tumours. Current localisation technologies are associated with disadvantages such as logistical challenges and migration issues (wire guided localisation) or legislative complexities and high administrative burden (radioactive localisation). We present MAgnetic MArker LOCalisation (MaMaLoc), a novel technology that aims to overcome these disadvantages using a magnetic marker and a magnetic detection probe. This feasibility study reports on the first experience with this new technology for breast cancer localisation. Materials and methods Fifteen patients with unifocal, non-palpable breast cancer were recruited. They received concurrent placement of the magnetic marker in addition to a radioactive iodine seed, which is standard of care in our clinic. In a subset of five patients, migration of the magnetic marker was studied. During surgery, a magnetic probe and gammaprobe were alternately used to localise the markers and guide surgery. The primary outcome parameter was successful transcutaneous identification of the magnetic marker. Additionally, data on radiologist and surgeon satisfaction were collected. Results Magnetic marker placement was successful in all cases. Radiologists could easily adapt to the technology in the clinical workflow. Migration of the magnetic marker was negligible. The primary endpoint of the study was met with an identification rate of 100%. Both radiologists and surgeons reflected that the technology was intuitive to use and that it was comparable to radioactive iodine seed localisation. Conclusion Magnetic marker localisation for non-palpable breast cancer is feasible and safe, and may be a viable non-radioactive alternative to current localisation technologies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-56
Number of pages7
JournalThe Breast
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017


  • Breast sparing surgery
  • Magnetism
  • Non-radioactive
  • Surgical localisation


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