Results from the study of a new surgical marker that enables a more precise delivery of radiation therapy, were presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ASTRO).
The research, conducted by Robert Kuske, M.D. at Arizona Breast Cancer Specialists and researchers at two other sites, analyzed the clinical experiences with the BioZorb Tissue Marker, Focal Therapeutics’ three-dimensional surgical marker.
The BioZorb surgical marker is an implantable device that uniquely delineates the surgical site of tissue removal in three dimensions, shaped as a unique open-spiral that can incorporate six permanent titanium clips in a fixed 3D array, providing specific markers at the site of the excised tumor.
Furthermore, BioZorb is composed of a bioabsorbable material, allowing the patient’s body to absorb it slowly, not requiring surgical removal after treatment.
“The marker proved to have a unique ability to complement oncoplastic techniques,” said study co-author Linda Ann Smith, M.D., breast surgeon at Comprehensive Breast Care in Albuquerque, N.M. in a Focal Therapeutics press release. “This is due to its three-dimensional, open spiral shape. Our research showed that the marker improves cosmetic results across the board. This is especially true when combined with reconstructive oncoplastic surgery.”
The study analyzed 52 cases of BioZorb use, showing that it was efficient in small radiation treatment volumes and dosage, in both boost and accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI). Furthermore, the 3-D tissue marker enabled a catheter reduction of 47% while performing interstitial brachytherapy, and was found to provide a supporting structure for oncoplastic surgery, delivering outstanding cosmetic results.
“Like many great innovations, the design of the new marker is relatively simple and its effects are profound,” study co-author Robert Kuske, M.D., a breast cancer-specific radiation oncologist and co-founder of Arizona Breast Cancer Specialists, added in the press release. “The reduction in treatment volumes means that with this marker, women have far less risk of damage to healthy tissue during treatment, and that they can expect better cosmetic results.”
Oncoplastic surgery is a combination of both plastic surgery and surgical oncology methods, commonly used when a large lumpectomy is required that will leave the breast distorted. The remaining breast tissue is sculpted, restoring the breast’s natural appearance and shape.
Nonetheless, because oncoplastic surgery involves rearranging the patients’ tissues, it can result in difficult visualization of the precise surgical site that may need radiation treatment.
BioZorb’s particular design can provide landmarks at the site of the excised tumor, allowing the surgeon to secure the tissue to the marker and use it for oncoplastic reconstruction and radiation treatment planning.