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Published on December 02, 2013

Hall-Perrine Cancer Center brings new breast cancer surgery technology to Iowa

Hall-Perrine Cancer Center at Mercy Medical Center is now using the MarginProbe® System – new technology to enhance surgery for breast cancer patients. 

Now, surgeons performing breast cancer surgery at Mercy will be able to use the probe on removed cancerous tissue to detect whether there is any remaining cancer surrounding a removed lump. The MarginProbe System delivers clarity in real-time, reducing doubt and the likelihood of a second surgery.

Having a “clean margin” around the site of the cancer is important to increase the likelihood of a successful outcome through the course of treatment. Therefore, all cancer cells must be fully eliminated at the edge of the removed tissue.

MarginProbe allows surgeons to understand whether cancer is present in the tissue during surgery as opposed to waiting for days after the surgery to have that information. If the probe indicates that cancer remains at the edge of the removed tissue, the surgeon can remove the additional tissue— saving time and, potentially, the need for a second procedure.

“This is remarkable technology that will enhance the surgical care we’re delivering to our patients,” said Dr. Vincent Reid, Medical Director at Hall-Perrine Cancer Center, who led the charge to bring MarginProbe to the community. “Studies have shown that reoperation rates are significantly decreased with the aid of this tool. I’m certain patients will find it to be of great benefit to their care here at Mercy.”

Dr. Reid is the only fellowship-trained oncologic surgeon in Cedar Rapids.

Here’s how it works: MarginProbe detects cancer by assessing the electromagnetic response of tissue. The system allows the surgeon to probe suspect tissue, capturing microscopic differences in electromagnetic properties. The system characterizes the tissue’s electromagnetic signature and then compares those responses to an internal database of known signatures in healthy and cancerous tissues.

Hall-Perrine Cancer Center continues to lead the area in the advancement of cancer detection and treatment technology.  In addition to MarginProbe, Hall-Perrine recently announced the addition of TrueBeam, the latest advancement in radiation technology available in the United States. In the past 5 years, the center has also added the Trilogy radiation system and Molecular Breast Imaging among other new advancements.

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