Moving beyond wires for locating breast tumours

Investment team
Venture Investments
Date of investment
March 1, 2011

Breast-conserving surgery effectively removes cancer cells while preserving as much healthy breast tissue as possible. Thus, the ability to precisely locate breast tumours within normal tissue is critical. Women scheduled for removal of nonpalpable breast tumours undergo a localization procedure before surgery. Until recently, most of these used a wire [wire localization] that pierces the skin and is pushed into the lesion.

“The wire localization procedure is performed the morning of the surgery to minimize both the time that the wire is in place and the chance that it could migrate. Our SCOUT® breast tumour localization system features the first and only, FDA cleared implant used in wire-free localization that can be implanted long term. It offers physicians maximum flexibility to place the reflector for localization at any time during the continuum of care,” says Jill Anderson, CEO of Cianna Medical.

The wire localization procedure is an approach that was developed more than 35 years ago and is the number one reason why many women must undergo a second surgery to remove cancerous tissue that was left behind after the first surgery. The SCOUT system leverages the precision and predictability of RADAR for more successful surgeries, optimized breast conservation strategies and better outcomes for women.

“It offers a real-time distance measurement, 60mm detection range with a +/- 1mm accuracy. During the lumpectomy or surgical biopsy, the surgeon scans the breast using the SCOUT guide which emits 50 million pulses per second, to “lock” on to the reflector’s position. This more advanced level of localization precision allows better surgical planning that may improve cosmetic results, as less tissue may need to be removed,” she says.

The SCOUT reflector’s 4mm body size is smaller than a grain of rice and 100% non-radioactive. It is completely passive until activated by the SCOUT guide. It will not interfere with MRI studies which is critical when implants are placed long term.  

The SCOUT breast tumour localization system has been clinically proven in more than 25,000 surgical procedures and has been adopted by more than 200 medical centres in the US. It is available in 25% of the 100 ‘great hospitals’ in America and is being universally adopted by both for profit and non-profit health care providers. Jill Anderson, CEO, Cianna Medical

Today, Cianna Medical is the world leader in wire-free breast localization systems and has just announced the launch of SCOUTCareTM – a comprehensive training, certification and communication programme designed to support facilities in adopting the SCOUT Radar Breast Localization system.

“The company has expanded its operations and direct sales team to meet the growing demand for its technology. Novo Ventures has been a committed partner whose long-term perspective has been invaluable throughout the development and commercialization of this ground-breaking technology,” says Jill Anderson. 

Cianna Medical is a medical device company that manufactures and markets the SAVI breast brachytherapy applicator for the delivery of radiation after lumpectomy surgery.