Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

INTRODUCTION: This systematic review compares the outcomes of radioactive seed localisation (RSL) versus standard wire-guided localisation (WGL) in the management of non-palpable breast cancers. METHODS: We performed a literature search of PubMed, EMBASE and the Cochrane database to identify clinical studies using RSL. Included studies examined invasive breast cancer and reported objective pathological outcome measurements. Quantitative data analyses were performed. RESULTS: 197 papers were identified with eight being clinically relevant to our study. From these eight studies there was only one identified as being a randomised controlled trial (RCT) and four as cohort studies having a control WGL group and included in the quantitative analysis. This provided an overall combined odds ratio (OR) 0.51 (95% CI, 0.36-0.72; z = 3.88; p = 0.0001) for involved surgical margin status; OR, 0.47 (95% CI, 0.33-0.69; z = 3.96; p < 0.0001) for re-operation rates and mean difference (MD) -1.32 (95% CI, -2.32, -0.32; z = 2.58; p = 0.01) for operative time favouring RSL over WGL. In the case of volume of specimens excised, MD 1.46; (95% CI, -22.35, 25.26; z = 0.12; p = 0.90) showing no statistical significance for volume of tissue excised in specimens between the two groups. CONCLUSIONS: The results of this systematic review demonstrate a statistically significant benefit of RSL over the gold standard of WGL in terms of involved margin status, re-operation rates and reduced operative time but no statistically significant difference with WGL in terms of volume of tissue excised in the treatment of non-palpable breast cancers. Adequately powered, multicentre RCTs are needed to validate these results.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





383 - 388


Breast Neoplasms, Female, Humans, Mastectomy, Segmental, Operative Time, Reoperation