With October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, there has been a wash of pink over every product out there. A recent advancement in breast cancer treatment, however, isn’t pink at all.
James V. Pellicane, M.D., F.A.C.S., co-founder of Bon Secours Virginia Breast Center and director of breast oncology at the Bon Secours Cancer Institute in Richmond, has helped pioneer the use of a new device called BioZorb. The BioZorb marker is placed in the breast during lumpectomy surgery and identifies where the tumor was removed in a fixed 3-D array . The marker then helps the oncologist more reliably determine where to aim the radiation. The spiral shaped marker is then absorbed into the body over the course of a year or more, leaving the marker clips in place so the site can be identified more easily in long term monitoring.
Dr. Pellicane answered a few of our questions about BioZorb.
Rmom: When did you begin using BioZorb with your patients, and how many patients in Richmond have been treated using this device?
Dr.Pellicane: We began using BioZorb about 5 months ago and have used it in about 25 patients.
Rmom: What advantages do BioZorb markers offer the oncologist treating the patient that other markers do not?
Dr.Pellicane: It is a 3-dimensional marker, where as the others are not; it also acts as a scaffolding in the breast to help improve the cosmetic outcome. It’s also absorbed into the breast tissue –leaving 6 titanium marking clips to mark the affected area. The dissolvable material is like that of absorbable sutures.
Rmom: What advantages does BioZorb offer the patient? Do patients need to be concerned about the markers migrating after BioZorb has dissolved?
Dr.Pellicane: One major advantage is the precise targeting of radiation. No need to worry about migration. It is sutured securely in place and scars in rather quickly.
Rmom: Will BioZorb be offered to every patient treated for breast cancer at Bon Secours Cancer Institute?
Dr.Pellicane: Every patient in which it makes sense and who is a good candidate will be offered the device. It is ultimately up to them.
To find out more about Bon Secours Cancer Institute visit them online here.