Devices & Diagnostics

Novilase laser treatment shows promise for early-stage breast cancer instead of lumpectomy

A less invasive treatment for women with small breast cancer tumors could replace standard lumpectomies.

For women with small breast cancer tumors, a new laser treatment could be a successful form of treatment instead of a lumpectomy. This laser treatment developed by Novian Health, called Novilase Breast Therapy, was shown to be a promising option according to research led by Barbara Schwartzberg, M.D. of Rose Medical Center.

Dr. Schwartzberg presented results of the BR-002 Novilase Clinical Trial today at the 2015 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. The laser ablation treatment uses small probes at the center of the cancer and destroys tumors by using heat.

According to a release, the therapy achieved 91 percent complete tumor ablation. MRI can be used to demonstrate that the therapy was successful. All patients in the study did receive standard-of-care, adjuvant and radiation therapy as indicated. The trial was put in place in an attempt to gain FDA approval.

“We learned more from this research study than we anticipated, so I’m very pleased with the results,” Dr. Schwartzberg said in a statement. “We saw multiple advantages of using laser therapy to not only destroy the cancer tumor, but to do so with only local anesthetic and less cosmetic damage than traditional lumpectomy. Patients benefit from quicker recovery and are less likely to need additional treatments than with surgery.”

Dr. Schwartzberg indicated that one key benefit is that in cases where re-treatment is necessary, it’s much less invasive with the laser than with additional surgery.

There are multiple benefits for a woman with the laser treatment versus the alternative. As opposed to a lumpectomy, there is no surgical incision. The laser device is inserted through the skin in an incision so small it can be closed with just a bandage. This means little to no scarring or change in the breasts shape and feel.

Moving forward, a follow-up pivotal clinical trial of the Novilase technology is planned for 2016.