UW-Madison professors create revolutionary GPS device to help surgeons find breast cancer tumors during removal

MADISON, Wis. – A new technology developed by University of Wisconsin – Madison professors is changing the way surgeons see breast cancer tumors, making for a more precise removal.

“When I first met this engineering team I said, ‘Google can see my driveway, why can’t I see the cancer?’ said Dr. Lee Wilke, a professor of surgery at UW-Madison and the director of UW Health’s Breast Center.

Wilke, along with Fred Lee, a professor of imaging science, and Dan Van der Weide, an engineering professor, helped come up with Elucent Medical’s SmartClip.

“It’s a GPS. But it’s a GPS that’s not turned on until you lay on the operative table,” said Wilke.

Before the SmartClip, for the last 70 years, when doctors biopsy a breast cancer tumor, they also insert a little clip at the center of the tumor. But when it comes time to remove the tumor, surgeons can’t see where that clip is.

“It’s not findable, it’s not targetable,” said Wilke.

In order for the surgeons to know where the tumor is, right before surgery a radiologist has to mark the area with a wire.

“They would place a wire, and it literally is a piece of wire, that highlights and targets the lesion and then pokes out the skin. And then the surgeon uses that wire to get to the cancer, like a lollipop on a stick,” said Wilke.

That additional procedure leaves women with wires poking out of them on an already stressful day.

“The patients on the morning of surgery haven’t eaten, they’re anxious. A lot of them faint when they go get the wires placed,” said Wilke.

Now, the SmartClip shows doctors exactly where the tumor is inside the breast tissue. As soon as the clip gets between the mattress pad and the surgical knife, it can be seen on a screen.

Read the full article at: https://www.channel3000.com/uw-madison-professors-create-revolutionary-gps-device-to-help-surgeons-find-breast-cancer-tumors-during-removal/