Improving Margin Assessment in Lumpectomy

By Sep 14, 2017 November 13th, 2017 News

Dune Medical Devices featured by US News & World Report; The importance of clean margins and the new technologies, such as MarginProbe, that are changing the game for surgeons and positively impacting patient experience.

“Although lumpectomy is considered the best option for many breast cancer patients, it’s not perfect and one of the trickiest parts is ensuring that all of the cancer has been removed. But new technologies now entering operating rooms could help reduce the chances of re-excision and help patients deal with the uncertainty of having to wait a week or longer for confirmation that the cancer was completely removed.”

The MarginProbe, Dune Medical’s first device used to detect cancerous cells in real time during lumpectomy surgery, was recently featured by US News & World Report. Journalist Elaine Howley spoke with two surgeons who use MarginProbe and Dune Medical’s CEO Lori Chmura. They discussed the importance of clean margins and the new technologies, such as MarginProbe, that are changing the game for surgeons as well as positively impacting patient experience.

From the article: “The appeal of devices that can give surgeons real-time feedback on their performance is strong.”

“According to a 2012 JAMA study, nearly 23 percent of all lumpectomy patients end up having subsequent surgery because cancer cells were found at the edge of the removed tissue, Howley writes. “These rates of re-excision vary depending on the surgeon’s skill, experience level and the type and location of the patient’s cancer.”

“The biggest benefit is that [surgeons are] able to see the result in real time,” says Lori Chmura, Dune Medical CEO. “It takes some of the subjectivity out of guessing where the cancer ends and normal breast tissue begins. This can help doctors preserve more healthy tissue in patients – meaning that the breast could be less disfigured by the surgery – while still ensuring that the cancer has been removed.”

Dr. Stephanie Akbari, a dedicated breast surgeon in the Inova Breast Care Program in Fairfax, Virginia, was part of the clinical trial for the MarginProbe and uses the device in her practice. Akbari says before using the device, her re-excision rate “was already low at nine percent but it enabled me to lower it by half to four or five percent.”

Dr. Dennis Holmes, a breast surgical oncologist and principal investigator on the trial for the probe, notes that no medical device is perfect. “The MarginProbe doesn’t guarantee that there couldn’t be a positive margin, but it performed much better than the traditional tools we use,” he says.

You can read the article, in full, here.

If you would like to learn more about MarginProbe’s capability to reduce positive margins for breast cancer patients or what the future of our technology holds for biopsy in breast cancer and other indications, contact