Safety and feasibility of breast lesion localization using magnetic seeds (Magseed): a multi-centre, open-label cohort study

James Harvey, Yit Lim, John Murphy, Miles Howe, Julie Morris, Amit Goyal, Anthony Maxwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review



Wire localization has several disadvantages, notably wire migration and difficulty scheduling the procedure close to surgery. Radioactive seed localization overcomes these disadvantages, but implementation is limited due to radiation safety requirements. Magnetic seeds potentially offer the logistical benefits and transcutaneous detection equivalence of a radioactive seed, with easier implementation. This study was designed to evaluate the feasibility and safety of using magnetic seeds for breast lesion localization.


A two-centre open-label cohort study to assess the feasibility and safety of magnetic seed (Magseed) localization of breast lesions. Magseeds were placed under radiological guidance into women having total mastectomy surgery. The primary outcome measure was seed migration distance. Secondary outcome measures included accuracy of placement, ease of transcutaneous detection, seed integrity and safety.


Twenty-nine Magseeds were placed into the breasts of 28 patients under ultrasound guidance. There was no migration of the seeds between placement and surgery. Twenty-seven seeds were placed directly in the target lesion with the other seeds being 2 and 3 mm away. All seeds were detectable transcutaneously in all breast sizes and at all depths. There were no complications or safety issues.


Magnetic seeds are a feasible and safe method of breast lesion localization. They can be accurately placed, demonstrate no migration in this feasibility study and are detectable in all sizes and depths of breast tissue. Now that safety and feasibility have been demonstrated, further clinical studies are required to evaluate the seed’s effectiveness in wide local excision surgery.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBreast Cancer Research and Treatment
Issue number3
Early online date16 Feb 2018
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018


  • Mastectomy
  • Breast cancer
  • Lumpectomy
  • seed localization
  • Magnetic

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Manchester Cancer Research Centre


Dive into the research topics of 'Safety and feasibility of breast lesion localization using magnetic seeds (Magseed): a multi-centre, open-label cohort study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this