Head and Neck Cancer

Identify and orient complex specimen margins
in head and neck surgery, when anatomic
structures are often absent.

The Problem

Margin status is a critical factor in the diagnosis, classification, and staging of head and neck tumors. Inadequate surgical resection margins contribute to increased local recurrence and morbidity rates, decreased survival rates, and increased cost to society. (Hinni) Customary methods used to identify specimen margins are inconsistent and cause error. Specimen orientation with two stitches placed on two of the surfaces is associated with an overall disorientation rate of 31.1%. The disorientation rate between the surgeon and the pathologist for specimens <20cm3 has been reported as high as 78%

The Solution

MarginMarker is a sterile ink kit the surgeon uses in the OR. Inks are applied to tissue immediately after excision to clearly and completely define each margin plane. Using MarginMarker helps ensure that tissue margins are interpreted consistently from surgical excision to pathology analysis.  

“Head and neck surgeons and pathologists should work together toward standardizing margin assessment from a multidisciplinary and multi-institutional perspective...Some surgeons ink the different resection margin planes with different colors and keep careful records that are an additional component of mapping. Different inking is particularly important when a section will include more than 1 margin on a slide.”

Hinni, Michael L., et al. "Surgical margins in head and neck cancer: a contemporary review." Head and Neck 35.9 (2013): 1362-1370.

MarginMarker

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