Hartford HealthCare hospital 1st in Connecticut to use novel breast cancer procedure

Bridgeport, Conn.-based St. Vincent's Medical Center, a Hartford HealthCare hospital, is the first in the state to use magtrace on a woman with breast cancer.

Magtrace is a magnetic liquid that mimics how cancer cells spread, according to an Oct. 17 news release from the health system. It is injected at the time of a mastectomy to determine if the cancer has spread to lymph nodes. Unlike liquid dyes, Matrace stays in the system for weeks at a time.

"We do not know if the cancer has spread beyond the milk ducts and therefore potentially to the lymph nodes until we do surgery which is why we typically remove a few lymph nodes at the time of the mastectomy," Dr. Valerie Brutus, a breast surgeon at St. Vincent’s, said in the release. "Removing lymph nodes after a mastectomy is challenging and is not as accurate. Magtrace allows us to perform the mastectomy, wait for the pathology and then go back to remove the lymph nodes at a later date if necessary."

Dr. Brutus called Magtrace a "game-changer" for patients with stage 0 breast cancer.

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