Microbubble ultrasound and breast biopsies

Feb 01, 2011

Using "microbubbles" and ultrasound can mean more targeted breast biopsies for patients with early breast cancer, helping to determine treatment and possibly saving those patients from undergoing a second breast cancer surgery, a new study in shows.

Patients with early undergo a sentinel lymph node biopsy to determine if their cancer has spread, said Dr. Ali Sever, lead author of the study. Ultrasound, on its own, can't distinguish the sentinel lymph node from other lymph nodes, Dr. Sever said. However, "our study found that microbubble contrast- enhanced ultrasound accurately identified the sentinel lymph node in 89% of the 80 patients in our study."

As many as 35% of patients who undergo sentinel lymph node excision biopsy will require additional surgery because cancer has spread," Dr. Sever said. Using microbubble contrast-enhanced ultrasound preoperatively means that the cancer and cancer spread can be removed during one operation.

Currently blue dye and radioisotopes are used to identify at the time of surgical excision. While this technique is accurate, there are side effects for some patients, including an allergic reaction. In addition, the disposal of the radioisotopes () poses an issue.

Ultrasound is widely available and low cost, said Dr. Sever. "Microbubble enhancement is a real time examination which shows the bubbles trafficking through the breast lymphatics and into the sentinel lymph node. Now that we know that this technique can accurately identify the sentinel lymph node, we are looking at using this to determine if it can be combined with less invasive biopsy techniques, avoiding the need for a surgical sentinel lymph node biopsy completely," she said.

The study was conducted at Maidstone Hospital in Maidstone, UK. Dr. Sever notes that the use of is restricted in the United States and is currently not approved for use with breast cancer patients.

Explore further: Why we should vaccinate boys against HPV as well as girls

More information: The study appears in the February issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.

Provided by American College of Radiology

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Largest-ever breast cancer surgery study published

Sep 22, 2010

A less invasive surgical procedure for detecting breast cancer spread has for the first time been proven to achieve the same cancer survival and recurrence control as traditional lymph node removal surgery in patients whose ...

Recommended for you

Why we should vaccinate boys against HPV as well as girls

1 hour ago

Gillian Prue, from the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Queen's University of Belfast, says that the human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is common in men and can lead to genital warts and the development of some head and ...

Generation of tanners see spike in deadly melanoma

14 hours ago

(AP)—Stop sunbathing and using indoor tanning beds, the acting U.S. surgeon general warned in a report released Tuesday that cites an alarming 200 percent jump in deadly melanoma cases since 1973.

Penn team makes cancer glow to improve surgical outcomes

14 hours ago

The best way to cure most cases of cancer is to surgically remove the tumor. The Achilles heel of this approach, however, is that the surgeon may fail to extract the entire tumor, leading to a local recurrence.

User comments : 0