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Surgeon’s Work on Breast-cancer Device Featured at Conference

WESTFIELD — A Noble Hospital breast surgeon’s work with a new device that improves treatment of breast cancers was featured recently at a prestigious international medical conference.

Dr. Steven Schonholz presented a scientific poster at the 32nd annual Miami Breast Cancer Conference in Miami Beach, Fla., from Feb. 26 to March 1. He focused on BioZorb, a novel, three-dimensional, bio-absorbable surgical marker that helps physicians track the tumor site after lumpectomy surgery to remove cancer and deliver more precise radiation treatment.

Schonholz, director of the Center for Comprehensive Breast Health at Noble Hospital, was the first physician in Massachusetts to use BioZorb as part of his medical practice. BioZorb contains several tiny titanium clips positioned in a 3-D pattern inside a bio-absorbable coil. The body eventually resorbs the coil, leaving the titanium clips for long-term visualization of the surgery site.

“This unique device does a better job of helping us protect healthy tissue around the surgical site during radiation therapy,” said Schonholz. “It can also provide our patients with a more satisfying cosmetic result after treatment.”

Schonholz explained at the conference that the BioZorb market is readily placed by the surgeon and can be easily visualized; helps target the radiation therapy to a smaller target area, resulting in less radiation to normal tissues; and provides a stable, 3-D identification of where the tumor was prior to removal, to help with treatment and longer-term follow-up.

The annual Miami Breast Cancer Conference brings together surgical, medical, and radiation oncologists with the aim of fostering awareness of state-of-the-art treatments in each therapeutic area and encouraging cross-team cooperation in the clinic.

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