Radiofrequency localization of nonpalpable breast cancer in a multicentre prospective cohort study: feasibility, clinical acceptability, and safety

Anke Christenhusz*, Bianca M. den Dekker, Thijs van Dalen, Lisa Jongen, Margreet C. van der Schaaf, Lejla Alic, Bennie ten Haken, Ruud M. Pijnappel, Anneriet E. Dassen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
72 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: In breast conserving surgery, accurate lesion localization is essential for obtaining adequate surgical margins. Preoperative wire localization (WL) and radioactive seed localization (RSL) are widely accepted methods to guide surgical excision of nonpalpable breast lesions but are limited by logistical challenges, migration issues, and legislative complexities. Radiofrequency identification (RFID) technology may offer a viable alternative. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the feasibility, clinical acceptability, and safety of RFID surgical guidance for localization of nonpalpable breast cancer. Methods: In a prospective multicentre cohort study, the first 100 RFID localization procedures were included. The primary outcome was the percentage of clear resection margins and re-excision rate. Secondary outcomes included procedure details, user experience, learningcurve, and adverse events. Results: Between April 2019 and May 2021, 100 women underwent RFID guided breast conserving surgery. Clear resection margins were obtained in 89 out of 96 included patients (92.7%), re-excision was indicated in three patients (3.1%). Radiologists reported difficulties with the placement of the RFID tag, partially related to the relatively large needle-applicator (12-gauge). This led to the premature termination of the study in the hospital using RSL as regular care. The radiologist experience was improved after a manufacturer modification of the needle-applicator. Surgical localization involved a low learning curve. Adverse events (n = 33) included dislocation of the marker during insertion (8%) and hematomas (9%). The majority of adverse events (85%) occurred using the first-generation needle-applicator. Conclusion: RFID technology is a potential alternative for non-radioactive and non-wire localization of nonpalpable breast lesions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-75
Number of pages9
JournalBreast cancer research and treatment
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2023


  • Breast cancer
  • Breast conserving surgery
  • Primary lesion localization
  • Radiofrequency identification
  • RFID
  • UT-Hybrid-D


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