Researchers Use New Technique to Catch More Cancerous Breast Cancer Cells

by: cancercompass

A new technique may help surgeons determine if they have removed all the cancer during lumpectomies and eliminate further surgeries, according to a press release put out by researchers at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD).

The research team used a technique called automated microscopy and specially designed computer software to identify invasive breast cancers. The procedure could help lead to a better method for surgeons to determine if they have removed all of the cancerous cells during breast conserving surgeries or lumpectomies.  This could potentially also cut down on the need for second surgeries.

Pathologists normally need to analyze the outer tissue after a lumpectomy, which is a process that could take up to a week, according to researchers. Additionally, 20 to 50% of the time, cancerous cells still remain, which means more surgery.

UCSD researchers examined tissue from 10 healthy women and 24 women with cancer and found that automated microscopy, working in conjunction with special computer software, correctly identified 83% of invasive breast cancer tumors, while a normal microscope only identified 65% of the cancer specimens.

Their work and other findings are recorded in the Annals of Surgical Oncology.