Localization Techniques for Non-Palpable Breast Lesions: Current Status, Knowledge Gaps, and Rationale for the MELODY Study (EUBREAST-4/iBRA-NET, NCT 05559411)

Maggie Banys-Paluchowski* (Corresponding Author), Thorsten Kühn, Yazan Masannat, Isabel Rubio, Jana de Boniface, Nina Ditsch, Güldeniz Karadeniz Cakmak, Andreas Karakatsanis, Rajiv Dave, Markus Hahn, Shelley Potter, Ashutosh Kothari, Oreste Davide Gentilini, Bahadir M. Gulluoglu, Michael Patrick Lux, Marjolein Smidt, Walter Paul Weber, Bilge Aktas Sezen, Natalia Krawczyk, Steffi HartmannRosa Di Micco, Sarah Nietz, Francois Malherbe, Neslihan Cabioglu, Nuh Zafer Canturk, Maria Luisa Gasparri, Dawid Murawa, James Harvey

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
12 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Surgical excision of a non-palpable breast lesion requires a localization step. Among available techniques, wire-guided localization (WGL) is most commonly used. Other techniques (radioactive, magnetic, radar or radiofrequency-based, and intraoperative ultrasound) have been developed in the last two decades with the aim of improving outcomes and logistics. Methods: We performed a systematic review on localization techniques for non-palpable breast cancer. Results: For most techniques, oncological outcomes such as lesion identification and clear margin rate seem either comparable with or better than for WGL, but evidence is limited to small cohort studies for some of the devices. Intraoperative ultrasound is associated with significantly higher negative margin rates in meta-analyses of randomized clinical trials (RCTs). Radioactive techniques were studied in several RCTs and are non-inferior to WGL. Smaller studies show higher patient preference towards wire-free localization, but little is known about surgeons’ and radiologists’ attitudes towards these techniques. Conclusions: Large studies with an additional focus on patient, surgeon, and radiologist preference are necessary. This review aims to present the rationale for the MELODY (NCT05559411) study and to enable standardization of outcome measures for future studies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1173
Number of pages24
Issue number4
Early online date12 Feb 2023
Publication statusPublished - 12 Feb 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding: The MELODY study will be financially supported by: Hologic, Merit Medical, Endomag and Sirius Medical.


  • breast cancer
  • intraoperative ultrasound
  • localization technique
  • magnetic seed
  • non-palpable lesion
  • radar reflector
  • radioactive seed
  • radiofrequency identification tag
  • wire-guided localization


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