Hannibal Regional Brings Innovative Cancer Technologies To Patients


According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women in the United States. It accounts for approximately 30% of all new female cancers each year. Stacey Copeland, MD is a board certified general surgeon with Hannibal Regional Medical Group and has many years of experience diagnosing and caring for breast cancer patients.  When asked about incorporating a higher level of technology to the community she said, “I am excited to bring a new technology to the area that can improve intraoperative localization of breast cancer and can decrease operative times and discomfort.”

Hannibal Regional has partnered with Endomag to bring several innovative cancer technologies to the community, helping to improve outcomes for breast cancer patients in northeast Missouri.

The Magseed® marker is a tiny seed made from surgical grade steel. It is placed in breast tissue to mark the tumors before surgery to help the surgeon accurately locate the cancer in the operating room and remove it in one piece. Once placed, it cannot be dislodged or damaged and is detected by the Sentimag® probe with millimeter precision. The Magseed® marker replaces the traditional guidewire method of cancer marking, which has been shown in numerous studies to carry the risk of migrating before surgery. These studies have demonstrated that guidewire migration can cause surgery to be inaccurate, leaving behind cancerous tissue after the first surgery in 20-50% of cases. Marking and removing the tumor with a Magseed® marker has been shown to reduce these figures significantly to between 6.5% and 10%.The Magseed® marker can also be used to mark suspicious lymph nodes before chemotherapy, and in conjunction with Endomag’s lymphatic mapping agent, Magtrace®, enables surgeons at Hannibal Regional Hospital to perform a more targeted dissection and determine if the cancer has spread.

Magtrace® is a non-radioactive tracer for lymphatic mapping. Magtrace® is a liquid marker designed to follow the route that cancer cells are most likely to take when they spread from the primary tumor. Unlike existing methods, Magtrace® can be injected in the Operating Room, as well as weeks before surgery as the tracer is optimally sized; both small enough to move rapidly through breast, yet big enough to be filtered by the first draining or ‘sentinel’ lymph nodes, most likely to carry cancer. The collection of Magtrace® in these nodes allows the surgeon to accurately target them for removal, without disrupting the rest of the nodes in the armpit. This is critical in determining the tumor stage and deciding on the patient’s best treatment pathway.

“I am delighted that we are able to work with more and more hospitals to help them bring our technologies to patients. We are excited to see our network continue to grow so that patients across the world are able to have better cancer care,” said Eric Mayes, CEO of Endomag. To date, the Sentimag® system has been used in over 75,000 breast cancer procedures at over 500 hospitals in more than 35 countries.

For more information about how this technology can help you, please contact the radiology department at Hannibal Regional, (573) 248-1300.