Surgical oncologist Mehra Golshan, MD, (left) and members of the AMIGO team perform a practice run of a lumpectomy procedure on Nov. 15, 2012.

When Jane Davis was diagnosed with breast cancer in July 2012, she began learning as much as she could about the disease. Davis quickly discovered one of the most startling statistics about breast cancer — that up to 40 percent of women in the U.S. who undergo a lumpectomy to remove a tumor require a second surgery. That’s because surgeons often are unable to microscopically remove the entire tumor during the first surgery.

Dr. Mehra Golshan, Director of Breast Surgical Services at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center, is trying to change that with his research using image-guided therapy, available through the Advanced Multimodality Image Guided Operating (AMIGO) suite at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, to perform more precise breast surgeries.

“The idea is simple,” Dr. Golshan said. “The patient is brought into the Advanced Multimodality Image Guided Operating room (AMIGO) and put under anesthesia. Using contrast MRI, an image is taken of the breast before the surgery and then again after the tumor is removed. We then use the images to ensure the entire tumor is removed, with clear margins, before the patient leaves the operating room.” The idea may be simple but the technology is one of a kind. The operating room is one of few in the world that has a 3 Tesla MRI and PET/CT built into one platform.

So far, Golshan has successfully used this technique in the treatment of four patients. The only downside to the procedure is that it takes longer than traditional breast cancer surgery, due to the additional imaging in the Advanced Multimodality Image Guided Operating suite (AMIGO), but Golshan believes the benefits outweigh the risks.

“I am hopeful this innovative procedure will help create a platform for tests and studies that could be done in the operating room to eliminate repeat procedures for breast cancer patients and allow patients to shift their focus to healing and living their lives,” said Golshan.

Davis has been able to do just that. During her successful surgery last September, her entire tumor was removed. After the surgery, she had minimal discomfort and felt well enough to quickly go back to work.

“I feel so grateful and lucky for the wonderful care I’ve received,” Davis said. “I hope that other patients with my diagnosis can have the same opportunity.”

The use of the Advanced Multimodality Image Guided Operating suite in breast cancer surgery is limited to patients enrolled in Dr. Golshan’s research study. To learn more about breast cancer treatments in the AMIGO suite, please contact Dr. Golshan.

– Tom L, Jamie R


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