Rapid needle alignment for localizing breast tumors

Project Overview

Lumpectomy, surgical removal of the tumor mass is the standard treatment for patients with early-stage or small breast cancers. Lumpectomies are prefaced with tumor localization procedures that can be performed using various methods. One method is by using mammography for Image guided localization (IGL). IGL involves localizing the lesion using a fine wire with a hook to assist the surgeon in identifying non-palpable lesions. IGLs are mostly manual, depending heavily on the radiologist's skill level. They require approximately 45 minutes with the needle-wire device often requiring multiple corrections prior to wire deployment to ensure that the wire properly localizes the lesion for surgical removal. Our team has designed a needle guide that can streamline the process and reduce variability between physicians. The guide is a single-handed, ring-based model that can be removed from the imaging area with ease to prevent interference with the X-ray. The hinges and cylindrical composition of the guide stabilizes the needle and ensures perpendicular puncture, its conical bottom opening allows the clinician to easily locate the initial marking on the patient, and the countersink allows for maximum assisted-puncture. It is also one-time use for maintaining sterility and is made of Grey-Pro SLA resin for mechanical strength and stability. Preliminary testing on phantom breast models by radiologists confirmed the ergonomic and assistive characteristics of the needle guide. IRB approval for a clinical study has been received for further understanding of its benefits over the standard procedure, as well as to test whether the guide improves procedures performed by new and/or inexperienced clinicians.


Team picture

Team members from left to right: Kevin Fantl, Kari Borowski, Colin Schrof, Gopika Senthilkumar, Alex Henry


Project Files

Contact Information

Team Members

  • Colin Schrof - Team Leader
  • Kari Borowski - Communicator
  • Gopika Senthilkumar - BSAC
  • Kevin Fantl - BWIG
  • Alexander Henry - BPAG

Advisor and Client

  • Beth Meyerand - Advisor
  • Dr. Frederick Kelcz - Client