Feasibility of magnetic marker localisation for non-palpable breast cancer.



Magnetic marker localisation for non-palpable breast cancer is feasible and safe, and may be a viable non-radioactive alternative to current localisation technologies.


Accurate tumour localisation is essential for breast-conserving surgery of non-palpable tumours. Current localisation technologies are associated with disadvantages such as logistical challenges and migration issues (wire guided localisation) or legislative complexities and high administrative burden (radioactive localisation). We present MAgnetic MArker LOCalisation (MaMaLoc), a novel technology that aims to overcome these disadvantages using a magnetic marker and a magnetic detection probe. This feasibility study reports on the first experience with this new technology for breast cancer localisation.


Fifteen patients with unifocal, non-palpable breast cancer were recruited. They received concurrent placement of the magnetic marker in addition to a radioactive iodine seed, which is standard of care in our clinic. In a subset of five patients, migration of the magnetic marker was studied. During surgery, a magnetic probe and gammaprobe were alternately used to localise the markers and guide surgery. The primary outcome parameter was successful transcutaneous identification of the magnetic marker. Additionally, data on radiologist and surgeon satisfaction were collected.


Magnetic marker placement was successful in all cases. Radiologists could easily adapt to the technology in the clinical workflow. Migration of the magnetic marker was negligible. The primary endpoint of the study was met with an identification rate of 100%. Both radiologists and surgeons reflected that the technology was intuitive to use and that it was comparable to radioactive iodine seed localisation.

More about this publication

Breast (Edinburgh, Scotland)
  • Volume 33
  • Pages 50-56
  • Publication date 01-06-2017

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