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MarginProbe®

Early Stage Breast Cancer Facts

  • 285,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer in the U.S. each year.
  • Over half are for early-stage cancer.
  • In 60 to 75% of breast cancer cases, patients will undergo a lumpectomy vs. mastectomy.
  • 30 to 60% of women undergo repeat surgery following a lumpectomy.

Enhancing surgery for breast cancer patients 

Hall-Perrine Cancer Center at Mercy Medical Center is the first hospital in Iowa to use MarginProbe® technology during early-stage breast lumpectomy surgeries. It allows surgeons to understand whether cancer is present in the tissue during surgery as opposed to waiting several days after surgery for the pathology report.

Here’s how it works:

Having a “clean margin” around the site of the cancer is important to increase the likelihood of a successful outcome through that course of treatment. Therefore, all cancer cells must be fully eliminated at the edge of the removed tissue.

During surgery, the surgeon uses a probe to test the margins of removed tissue. Within minutes, the MarginProbe System provides real-time, detailed information indicating whether cancer remains at the edge of the removed tissue. This aids the surgeon in deciding whether to remove additional tissue or to complete the lumpectomy procedure and close the incision.

MarginProbe detects cancer by assessing the electromagnetic response of tissue. The system allows the surgeon to probe suspect tissue, capturing microscopic differences in electromagnetic properties. The system characterizes the tissue’s electromagnetic signature and then compares those responses to an internal database of known signatures in healthy and cancerous tissues.

Benefits of MarginProbe:

  • Is three times more effective in identifying “cancer on the margin” during lumpectomy than traditional, intra-operative methods.
  • Increases probability of having clean margins.
  • Reduces patient anxiety.
  • Reduces the likelihood of a second surgery.

See the Difference

Vincent Reid, MD

Vincent Reid, MD
Oncologic Surgeon

MarginProbe® can make a difference in reducing the need for a second surgery.

Below is Dr. Reid's 2014 re-excision rate with MarginProbe. The goal is to have a lower percentage rate than the NQMBC Surgeon Benchmark1.

Graph comparing Dr. Reid's success to the national benchmark


1The NQMBC - Surgeon Program identifies quality care measures and provides immediate access to information that allows participating surgeons to compare performance with other participating surgeons across the United States. Vincent Reid, MD is the only surgical oncologist in Iowa that is a member of the NQMBC Surgeon program and the only fellowship-trained oncologic surgeon in the area.

Courageous Stories

Brita LoynachanBrita's heart and drive of a champion helped her overcome a battle against breast cancer.

Follow Brita's Story