When a company comes up with something better, it typically wants a high profile for the technology. But it’s not always the case with Focal Therapeutics.
That’s because the company recently launched a low-profile version of the BioZorb® implant used in breast conservation treatment (BCT).
Focal’s new BioZorb LP (for “low-profile”) design means more women who need breast cancer surgery could benefit from the implantable device. BioZorb is used in “reconstructive lumpectomy” and other types of BCT. It marks in three dimensions the site from which a breast tumor is removed.
The BioZorb LP device is designed to be implanted in smaller breasts, peripheral areas of the breast, and locations with less tissue coverage.
“Everyone understands the need for delivering more personalized medicine,” said Alison Laidley, M.D., a prominent Dallas breast surgeon with Texas Breast Specialists who was among the first physicians to use BioZorb LP. “The new designs of this device enable us to provide it to many more patients.”
BioZorb consists of an open framework that is slowly absorbed by the body over time. It has six titanium marker clips in a fixed array to help with clinical imaging. The design allows for tissue in-growth during the healing process.
Breast conservation treatment involves lumpectomy surgery to remove breast cancer, typically followed by radiation to destroy any remaining cancer cells. The 3D implant assists in marking the exact location of the tumor bed as a communication tool between surgeon and radiation oncologist. The marker helps provide more precise targeting of radiation treatment, and it helps monitor the surgical site over time.
“Our radiation oncologists who oversee post-surgical radiation treatment really like this technology,” Dr. Laidley said. “We have also seen that patients are really attuned to minimizing toxicity to surrounding healthy tissues during their radiation treatment.”
The implant’s bioabsorbable material dissolves in the body over the course of a year or more, while the tiny marker clips remain in place. BioZorb’s design may positively affects cosmetic results. After the device is implanted, the breast tissue surrounds it and begins to heal. The device supports breast tissue during healing after surgery and can be used during oncoplastic surgery and reconstructive lumpectomy to help maintain the breast’s shape and contour. Focal says the device is now offered at over 275 U.S. hospitals and surgery centers and has been used in over 4,000 cases.
BioZorb’s co-inventor, Dr. Gail Lebovic, is a well-known pioneer in oncoplastic surgery and reconstructive lumpectomy. She’s also the founder and director of the School of Oncoplastic Surgery. The school trains surgeons in how to combine breast cancer surgery with plastic and reconstructive techniques, to achieve the best possible cosmetic results when a lumpectomy is performed.