The breast surgeons at Torrance Memorial’s Hunt Cancer Institute are committed to using the latest technology to provide patients with the most advanced breast cancer care. As part of that commitment, our surgeons use a device called the MarginProbe® to determine whether the breast tissue surrounding the site of the removed tumor is cancer-free.

The MarginProbe Procedure

The breast surgeons at Torrance Memorial use the MarginProbe during lumpectomy procedures to test the edges, or margins, of the removed breast tissue. The system can detect the presence of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) and invasive breast cancer.

The MarginProbe provides real-time, detailed information about whether the edges of the excised tissue contain cancer cells. With results available in minutes, the surgeon can decide immediately whether to remove additional tissue from the tumor site before completing the lumpectomy procedure. Detecting the presence of cancer cells during surgery reduces the likelihood that the patient will have to undergo a second surgery to remove additional cancerous tissue.

How MarginProbe Works

The MarginProbe System uses electromagnetic waves to identify potentially cancerous tissue. It does this by assessing the electromagnetic response of the removed breast tissue, giving it an electromagnetic “signature,” and comparing that signature to the signatures of healthy and cancerous tissues contained in its database.

The Benefits of MarginProbe

The MarginProbe was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2013. According to research associated with the FDA approval, women whose surgeons used MarginProbe® were 56 percent less likely to need a second surgery than women whose surgeons did not use MarginProbe.

In addition to having a higher likelihood of cancer-free, or “clean,” margins after surgery, patients whose surgeons use MarginProbe don’t have to wait several days for the pathology report, which lessens their anxiety after surgery.

For questions about breast cancer surgery or to make an appointment, contact our breast cancer navigator
in the Cancer Resource Center at 310-784-6335.