Arkansas Med School Uses Breast Cancer Technology to Reduce Repeat Surgeries
LITTLE ROCK, Ark.
Technology that has been used to treat cancer successfully in other organs has been applied successfully to breast cancer by researchers at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), school officials report.
UAMS’ study has found that the procedure, known as radiofrequency ablation, can reduce repeat surgeries and in experiments eliminated breast cancer tumors. UAMS is the first medical treatment and research center to use the technology to kill the area around a breast cancer tumor once the tumor has been removed in a lumpectomy.
Currently, equipment used during surgery doesn’t let surgeons cut out the cancer perfectly, says Dr. Suzanne Klimberg, chief of the UAMS division of breast surgical oncology. Statistics show that under the current method, 40 percent of women need a second surgery to fully remove cancerous tissue. But with the new procedure the return rate drops to 4 percent.
“It’s like using Pine-Sol on your kitchen cabinets. You’re just a little bit more sure that it’s germ-free,” Klimberg says.
Klimberg’s idea was to sterilize the area around the tumor, where 90 percent of the cancer recurrence appears. She says that reduces the risk of cancer recurrence without radiation.
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