Localization techniques are here to stay
Population-wide screening programs for breast cancer have led to a sharp increase in the detection rate of small and non-palpable breast tumors. As a consequence, surgeons are faced with increasingly challenging procedures as they must locate and operate these demanding tumors. Surgical localization techniques are indispensable in guiding the surgeon to the right location during breast cancer surgery.
The gold standard is on its last legs
Wire-guided localization (WL) has been the gold standard for these procedures ever since its introduction in the 1970s1. However, the use of wires is not ideal.
Clinics need to carefully plan their radiology and surgery schedules to prevent delays; surgeons do not have freedom of approach, as the wire entry site may be different from the ideal skin incision location and the wire placement procedure leads to additional pain and stress on an already stressful surgery day for patients.
Surgeons demand change
Now, more than 40 years after the introduction of wire-guided localization, it’s time for a change. In recent years, new devices have been developed that overcome many of the disadvantages of wires. Of these, radioactive seed localization (RSL) is the most prominent newcomer. However, the use of tiny radioactive sources and its strict chain of custody requirements introduce radiation safety concerns, resulting in limited adoption.
From bench to bedside: a short history of Sirius Pintuition
Born and raised in the Netherlands Cancer Institute, the Sirius Pintuition System has its roots firmly embedded in the surgical clinic. A part of the team was the first to develop a magnetically detectable seed (MaMaLoc) compatible with a commercially available susceptibility-based magnetic detector. Subsequently, we showed feasibility of magnetic localization for non-palpable breast cancer2. After the introduction of comparable devices, we showed that the unique configuration of the MaMaLoc marker was best equipped for magnetic localization3.
Nevertheless, conventional solutions towards magnetic localization were not up to our surgeons’ requirements. Limited detection range, non-directional detection and strong interference from conventional surgical instruments were a strong driver for us to develop our own system. Sirius Pintuition uses magnetism in an entirely novel way which solves the issues of conventional magnetic detection systems.
Sirius Pintuition: the next generation
Sirius Pintuition is a next generation localization system. At Sirius, we foresee a future where surgical treatment of early-stage cancer relies on our proprietary non-radioactive, point-source localization technique. Sirius Pintuition provides directional and intuitive localization with millimeter accurate real time distance feedback. The Pintuition Probe is reusable, robust and very simple to use. Sirius Pintuition will provide access to the benefits of radioactive seeds without any of its safety concerns.