PinnacleHealth Breast Surgeons Use New Device for More Precise Treatment

HARRISBURG, Pa. (March 6, 2017) – PinnacleHealth Breast Surgeons Lisa Torp, MD, FACS, Brynn Wolff, MD, FACS, and Katherine Barton, MD, FACS, are the first in Harrisburg to use a new device that improves the treatment of breast cancer.  

At the time of breast conserving surgery, the breast surgeon inserts the new bioabsorbable, 3D surgical marker called BioZorb® in the space where the cancerous lump was removed. 

The device can provide the patient with a better cosmetic outcome and facilitate targeted radiation treatment after surgery. 

During radiation treatment, the device acts as a target and helps the radiation oncologist deliver more precise radiation treatment to the lumpectomy site. Advances in radiation therapy have improved outcomes for breast cancer patients, many times allowing women with early stage breast cancer to keep their breasts. These patients often receive radiation treatment following tumor removal (lumpectomy) to prevent cancer from returning in the breast. 

Since 2016, 125 patients with breast cancer have benefited from PinnacleHealth’s breast surgeons’ use of BioZorb. 

BioZorb® contains several tiny titanium clips in a three-dimensional array. These clips remain after the body absorbs the bioabsorbable framework that holds the clips. Before radiation treatments begin, the area to be treated is identified to ensure the radiation is aimed directly where the cancer existed. The new BioZorb technology allows this targeting to be even more precise. 

“The 3D bio-marker helps facilitate precise and accurate delivery of radiation therapy while protecting the nearby, healthy tissue,” states Joella Wilson-Dager, MD, radiation oncologist, PinnacleHealth Cancer Institute. 

Another benefit of BioZorb is that it delivers better cosmetic outcomes after breast-conserving lumpectomy surgery. Slow reabsorption of the device over the course of a year or more may help avoid scarring and improve contouring of the breast by supporting its shape during the healing process. And because the marker clips stay in place, the surgical site can be viewed for long-term monitoring on future mammograms.

“This device can help improve cosmetic outcomes by acting as a scaffold while the tissue heals,” states Dr. Torp. “Our patients undergoing breast cancer treatment now have an option where outcomes are successful on the inside and outside.” 

For more information about the PinnacleHealth Breast Care Center, visit pinnaclehealth.org/phbcc


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About PinnacleHealth System
PinnacleHealth System has been a leading provider of inpatient and outpatient healthcare services in central Pennsylvania since 1873. The 627-bed system has three acute care hospitals (Community General Osteopathic, Harrisburg and West Shore Hospitals) on four campuses (Community, Harrisburg, Polyclinic and West Shore) serving a five-county service area and supporting rural hospitals through affiliations and telehealth services. PinnacleHealth pursues innovative treatment options for the region through cardiac and cancer clinical trials, while offering convenient community services including medical home-certified primary care, urgent care, Magnet-recognized nursing excellence, emergency services, imaging, high-volume maternity care and a level III NICU, and workplace-based wellness services. PinnacleHealth includes a CardioVascular Institute and Cancer Institute, as well as a Bone and Joint Institute, Neurosurgery and Neurosciences Institute, and Spine Care Center that combine a multi-disciplinary approach to comprehensive spine, bone, joint, orthopedic and sports medicine services. PinnacleHealth is recognized for high-quality care with national and regional recognitions for volumes, outcomes and safety. For more information, visit pinnaclehealth.org.