In recent years there has been an intensive discussion about how to define a negative surgical resection margin. Despite the impact of radiation and systemic therapy a positive margin in breast surgery is associated with an increased risk of local recurrence. Thus, a positive margin confirmed by the pathologist results in further surgery that is troublesome for the patient in several ways and can also delay the initiation of adjuvant treatment. Therefore, the field of intraoperative margin assessment was intensively investigated and methods and technologies have been developed to support the breast surgeon in the operating theater. Some of these developments, such as frozen sections, touch imprint cytology, intraoperative ultrasound and radiofrequency spectroscopy are now established in the clinical routine. Others, such as near-infrared optical imaging, X-ray diffraction, high-frequency ultrasound and micro-computed tomography (CT) are still in the experimental stage. This article illustrates the current status of defining a negative surgical margin and gives an overview of the various and innovative technologies for intraoperative margin assessment.
Research Areas and Centers
- Research Area: Luebeck Integrated Oncology Network (LION)