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Identification of breast tumors from diathermy smoke by differential ion mobility spectrometry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-146
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Surgical Oncology
Issue number2
Early online date2018
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


Introduction: Breast cancer is the most frequent cancer in women worldwide. The primary treatment is breast-conserving surgery or mastectomy with an adequate clearance margin. Diathermy blade is used extensively in breast-conserving surgery. Surgical smoke produced as a side product has cancer-specific molecular features. Differential mobility spectrometry (DMS) is a rapid and affordable technology for analysis of complex gas mixtures. In our study we examined surgical smoke from malignant and benign breast tissue created with a diathermy blade using DMS. Material and methods: Punch biopsies of 4 mm diameter from breast cancer surgical specimens were taken during gross dissection of fresh surgical specimen and placed in a well plate. The measurement system is a custom-built device called automatic tissue analysis system (ATAS) based on a DMS sensor. Each specimen was incised with a diathermy blade and the surgical smoke was analyzed. Results: We examined 106 carcinoma samples from 21 malignant breast tumors. Benign samples (n = 198) included macroscopically normal mammary gland (n = 82), adipose tissue (n = 88) and vascular tissue (n = 28). The classification accuracy when comparing malignant samples to all benign samples was 87%. The sensitivity was 80% and the specificity was 90%. The classification accuracy of carcinomas to ductal and lobular was 94%, 47%, respectively. Conclusions: Benign and malignant breast tissue can be identified with ATAS. These results lay foundation for intraoperative margin assessment with DMS from surgical smoke.

ASJC Scopus subject areas


  • Breast cancer, Differential ion mobility spectrometry, Electrosurgery, Surgical margin, Surgical smoke

Publication forum classification

Field of science, Statistics Finland