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‘Metal detector’ detects tumors to help detect whether cancer has metastasized or not | Science & Technology News



A tool likened to a metal detector could soon be used in the NHS to help determine if a person’s breast cancer has spread.

Magtrace and Sentimag, a magnetic marker and detection tool, can help surgeons detect cancerous tissue.

They can help reduce the need for major surgery, as they allow cancer to be removed without damaging surrounding healthy tissue.

New draft guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) recommend this technology to determine if breast cancer has spread.

Here’s how it works:

• Magtrace, a non-radioactive dark brown liquid, is injected into the tissue around the tumor
• The particles are absorbed into the lymphatic system
• The Sentimag tool moved over the skin emits different pitch sounds as it passes through the Magtrace, like a metal detector finding metal in the ground
• Affected nodes are usually dark brown or black
• The surgeon makes a small incision to remove the node for a biopsy, and if cancer is found, more nodes may be removed

Nice says there are some side effects, including tanning, but the evidence seen by the organization suggests the technology is as good as standard practice at detecting the spread of breast cancer.

Currently, the detection relies on radioisotope tracer and the dual technique of green dye – nuclear medicine.

The new technology could be particularly useful for hospital surgeons with limited access to the radiotherapy department, because Magtrace is not radioactive.

Magtrace costs around £226 a piece and the Sentimag probe costs £24,900 to buy.

There are around 55,900 new cases of breast cancer in the UK each year, which is more than 150 a day, Cancer Research UK says.

Jeanette Kusel, acting director of MedTech and digital at Nice, said: “People with breast cancer want to know if their cancer has been isolated or has spread to the rest of the body.

“The sooner this is established, the better the potential outcomes will be.

“Using Magtrace technology is another option for surgeons working in hospitals with limited or no access to radiotherapy departments.

“The benefits of using this technology include the ability to perform more procedures, reduce reliance on radioisotopes transported into the water, and less travel for those who make their living.” necessary.”

Health and Social Care Minister Sajid Javid said: “We’re always on the lookout for innovative treatments to speed diagnosis and improve survival rates, and we’ll outline more in the Plan. Our 10-year cancer, will take place this summer.”



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