How a small device can offer more breast cancer treatment options for women

Posted: July 30, 2019 | Word Count: 1,014

A diagnosis of breast cancer comes as terrifying news, and according to the American Cancer Society, one in eight women will develop invasive breast cancer in their lifetime. However, for many women, it’s not necessarily a hopeless diagnosis. With today’s technology and medical advances, the odds of surviving are now much higher than decades ago.

For anyone who is grappling with the shock of this diagnosis, Dr. Anne Peled offers a unique perspective that can be helpful: She’s a board-certified surgeon at the Sutter Health California Pacific Medical Center and a breast cancer survivor, so she truly knows what it feels like to receive this life-altering news.

When faced with a breast cancer diagnosis, she says that it’s important to research your options, so you and your caregiver can design a treatment plan that will offer the best results and minimize negative side effects. “Not only will this benefit your outcomes, but it will give you peace of mind with the choices that you make,” she says. “I remind myself of that a lot, and it’s something I absolutely share with my patients.”

For women undergoing a lumpectomy or breast-conserving surgery, one of their main concerns — in addition to survival — is how their breasts will look and feel post-surgery. One option Dr. Peled frequently offers to women in that position is a medical device designed to both fill and mark the cancer site after surgery. During her own breast cancer treatment, she opted for the BioZorb® 3D bioabsorbable marker, and she routinely recommends the device to her patients. For patients who are good candidates for breast-conserving surgery, the BioZorb marker can be an incredibly useful tool.

How this small device plays a role in breast cancer treatment:

Peled explains the BioZorb marker works like a GPS for the site of the cancerous tissue, which allows a more targeted, precise treatment designed to minimize damage to healthy tissue.1

  • When the cancer is removed from the breast, this 3-D device is placed in the cavity left behind by the removed tissue and sutured into place.
  • The marker has small titanium clips that show up clearly on clinical imaging devices such as mammography, computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). According to research published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, 96% of radiation oncologists have reported that the marker improves accuracy in setup and boosts targeting.2
  • As healing commences and fills the space with healthy tissue, the framework starts to dissolve, leaving the titanium clips in place.3

Benefits of using a 3-D marker:

1. Helps women feel more secure about choosing breast-conserving surgery

Women who are faced with a breast cancer diagnosis worry about radiation, its impact, and whether the cancer will return. For that reason, Peled explains, a woman may opt for a mastectomy because she perceives lumpectomies as having a higher chance of recurrence.

Having the BioZorb marker in place, however, can ease some of these worries because “radiation oncologists may be better able to target their radiation,” she says. The possibility of having fewer side effects, the higher quality imaging and the results make women feel better about having a lumpectomy.

2. Improves patient outcomes

Some women may also worry about how their breasts will look following a lumpectomy. Thankfully, the BioZorb marker is designed to potentially improve the cosmetic outcome of women's breast cancer surgery. The 3-D design holds the shape of the cavity left by the removed tissue and creates a scaffold for new tissue ingrowth, which fills the cavity left by surgery.3 This can potentially minimize dimpling and help the breast maintain a more natural shape during recovery and beyond. What’s more, clinical experience shows the marker is not painful and is well tolerated by patients.4

3. Eases follow-up care

Over time, the framework of the BioZorb marker absorbs into the body, leaving behind the titanium clips. “The clips stay stable year after year for imaging, which I love,” Peled says. This stability is especially important for women, as traditionally placed clips may move over time. During follow-up mammograms, the clips allow radiologists to easily locate and check the previous cancer site.

Weighing the options carefully

Peled says it’s understandable to want to give in to that first urge to get the cancerous tissue out immediately. But taking the time to explore your options can prove to be worthwhile in the long run. Thanks to new treatment plans, these choices can help ensure the best possible outcomes for survival while also minimizing side effects and improving cosmetic results.

“Once you’re on your path and you figure out what your treatment plan looks like, there is this huge feeling of relief and security," she says. "It allows you to move forward from your diagnosis.”

To learn more about the BioZorb 3D bioabsorbable marker, visit


*Not to be considered medical advice

**Opinions expressed are solely those of the clinician

1 IFU FDOC-01-00 rev F

2 Kaufman CS, et al. Registry Study of 337 Bio-Absorbable 3-D Implants Marking Lumpectomy Cavity Benefit Cosmesis While Targeting Radiation. Poster presented at the Society of Surgical Oncology Annual Cancer Conference March 15-17, 2017.

3 Kaufman CS, et al. Clinical use of a three-dimensional tissue marker to target post lumpectomy radiation. J Clin Oncol 33, 2015 (suppl 28S; abstr 53).

4 Glaser C, et al. A New Method for Marking the Lumpectomy Cavity during Oncoplastic Surgery and Breast Conservation. Presented at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, December 2013.

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