Magnetic device for guiding sentinel node biopsies

September 14, 2018 0 By CH Unnikrishnan

The Magtrace and Sentimag magnetic localization system for guiding lymph node biopsies in patients with breast cancer undergoing mastectomy has received marketing approval in the US.

The device uses magnetic detection during sentinel lymph node biopsy procedures to identify specific lymph nodes, known as sentinel lymph nodes, for surgical removal. Testing the sentinel lymph nodes indicates whether the cancer has spread from the breast.

The Sentimag System comprises a sensitive magnetic sensing probe and a base unit designed to detect small amounts of Magtrace, the magnetic tracer drug that is injected into breast tissue.

The Magtrace particles travel to lymph nodes and become physically trapped in them, facilitating magnetic detection of the lymph nodes.

Following the injection of Magtrace, the Sentimag probe is applied to the patients’ skin in areas closest to the tumour site containing the lymph nodes. The sensing of the magnetic particles is indicated by changes in audio and visual alerts from the base unit, enabling the surgeon to move the hand-held probe around the area of the lymph nodes, and locate the sentinel lymph node or nodes.

Currently, a sentinel lymph node biopsy is performed after injection of radioactive materials and/or blue dye. This magnetic system will offer an option for patients undergoing mastectomy for their sentinel lymph biopsy procedure that does not require the injection of radioactive materials.

The device is manufactured by Endomagnetics Inc.