Fox Chase utilizes a revolutionary tool in breast conserving, cancer treatment

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Some exciting new technology is being utilized in our area and could revolutionize breast cancer or breast abnormality surgery.

Fox Chase Cancer Center is the only facility in our region using the Smart Clip Soft Tissue Marker for breast surgery.

"Anybody that needs something removed from the breast that can't be felt on physical examination either by the patient or the surgeon this is something that allows us to get right to that area and do it in a minimally invasive fashion," said Dr. Richard Bleicher, leader of the breast cancer program.

Traditionally a wire localization is done. On the day of surgery, a needle with a wire attached is inserted into the breast, the needle is removed but the wire stays.

"They come back up to the operating room, they wait in the pre-op holding area with this wire in place. And then they go to surgery and everything gets removed but again this can take hours with a wire in," said Dr. Andrea Porpiglia, a surgical oncologist.

The Smart Clip can be placed in the breast days or weeks ahead of time, with no ill effect to the patient.

Then using a GPS-type of navigation doctors are able to locate the affected area.

"It allows us to get to that area quicker, it allows us to take less tissue, it allows us to make a more strategic incision for that area," said Dr. Bleicher.

"It tells us how far away we are, how deep we are before you know two centimeters away or five centimeters away it's able to give us that information," said Dr. Porpiglia.

"We think this is a huge advance for our patients and it's going to make their outcomes and everybody's life a little easier," said Dr. Bleicher.

A couple other advantages of this technology is less anesthesia for the patient since the procedure is quicker, plus less cosmetic effects afterwards.
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