The Jeroen Bosch Hospital (JBZ) in Den Bosch and the Elisabeth-TweeSteden Hospital (ETZ) in Tilburg (both in the Netherlands) are the first hospitals in the world to use the revolutionary new ‘Pintuition’ localization technique from Sirius Medical in Eindhoven for breast-conserving surgery.
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By marking a tumor in the breast with a magnetic marker that is as large as a grain of rice, patients can be operated on in a more patient-friendly and efficient way and with better cosmetic results.
Breast-conserving surgery is possible in an early stage of breast cancer. The tumor is then still so small that it is not easy to locate. Tools are needed to do this. This can be done, for example, with a metal hook wire that the radiology department inserts. Another method uses a radioactive iodine seed. This seed shows where the tumor is located.
The world-first is the result of a new approach hailing from the Netherlands. Healthcare providers, insurance companies, and developers of new healthcare ideas in Brabant are working closely together to make promising treatments available to patients more quickly.
Surgeons are enthusiastic
The surgeons Patricia Jansen of the ETZ and Maud Bessems (JBZ) who performed the very first operations are enthusiastic about the new method, as they stated in a joint press release together with the Brabant Development Agency (BOM).
“This offers so many benefits, both for the patient and for the clinician. Up until now, we have been working with a metal hook wire. Then a wire is sticking out of the chest in this method. This is very uncomfortable for the patient. The advantage for the surgeon in this new method is that you know exactly where to operate because of the sound the magnetic seed makes. This allows us to make even smaller incisions – which also leaves much smaller scars as a result. And we can safely remove less tissue from the breast.”
Cooperation in healthcare
“This premiere from Sirius Medical and both hospitals shows how important cooperation in the healthcare sector is for bringing innovations to the market more quickly,” says Stephan Hulsbergen, Life Sciences & Medtech Business Developer at BOM Brabant Ventures. “For many developers of new healthcare ideas, the final step towards the patient seems barely bridgeable. This is due to issues such as decision-making procedures, complex financial flows, and a lack of knowledge of each other’s daily practices. But by bringing all parties involved together, the Brabant Development Society wants to ensure that this last crucial step can be taken.”
Bram Schermers, who developed ‘Pintuition’ in the Antonie van Leeuwenhoek Hospital (the leading cancer hospital in the Netherlands) and is co-founder of Sirius Medical: “It’s great to see that something that started out very small-scale is now being put into practice. I am very proud that hospitals and patients are now reaping the benefits. This really is a very important moment for us, because this is exactly what we want to do: Add value to doctors and patients.”