Initial Community Hospital Performance of Radioactive Seed Localization for Breast Cancer Patients

James A Wheeler, Fang Liu


Purpose: To compare the positive margin rates for women with nonpalpable breast tumors who underwent breast conserving surgery with wire localization versus those with radioactive seed localization in a small community hospital and to compare the size of the corresponding breast specimens.

Introduction: Wire localization (WL) has been the standard technique to assist in the removal of nonpalpable breast tumors for the past three decades for patients undergoing breast conserving surgery. Radioactive seed localization (RSL) is an alternative technique that provides advantages of patient comfort and scheduling convenience. There are numerous studies from large academic centers, but little information on how successfully this technique can be implemented in community hospitals.

Methods:         Thirty-five patients who underwent WL between September 18, 2013 and December 10, 2014 were compared to 110 patients who underwent RSL between February 12, 2014 and December 16, 2015.

Results: Three of the 35 WL patients (8.5%) had a positive margin compared to 14 of the 110 RSL patients (12.7%), but this difference was not statistically significant (p-value 0.763). The breast specimen weight had a geometric mean of 30.26 g for the WL patients and 32.78 g for the RSL patients, a difference of 8.3%, which was not statistically significant. Positive margin rates did not depend on the surgeon or the radiologist placing the I-125 localization seed.

Conclusion: The RSL technique can be implemented in community hospitals with the expectation of having the same positive margin rates as reported from academic centers.

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Copyright (c) 2016 James A Wheeler, Fang Liu

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Cancer and Clinical Oncology   ISSN 1927-4858(Print)   ISSN 1927-4866(Online)   Email:

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