Royal Victoria US 22.02.16


Canon Medical Systems is supporting a series of workshops on a cutting edge new procedure at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. The technique involves the use of iodine-125 seeds for the localisation of breast tumours.

The UK Breast Screening Service detects around 17,000 breast tumours per annum, of which the majority are impalpable. Many of these patients will undergo surgical excision of the tumour guided by wire.

The Newcastle Hospitals Trust has introduced the first routine UK service to localise tumours with iodine-125 seeds as an alternative to wires. The seeds act as a beacon in the tumour, with a gamma probe guiding the surgeon to the precise location. This has resulted in an improved patient pathway as the seed insertion can take place seven to fourteen days prior to surgery. There is improved cosmesis and almost all surgical excisions are done as a day case.

The Trust uses the Canon Aplio 500 ultrasound scanner for seed placement and a Canon Viamo portable ultrasound machine is used on the course for practical demonstration.

The RVI was the first unit in the UK to start using this technique, in October 2014 after staff had travelled to the Netherlands for training in the procedure.

Merilyn Cockburn, Advanced Practitioner Radiographer says, “Apart from the advantages of being able to insert the seeds at least a week before surgery, thereby reducing the anxiety for patients, other benefits include a more straight forward procedure, with research showing that the technique gives greater accuracy in locating the tumour. The Canon ultrasound scanner offers good tumour and iodine seed visualisation and to date we have not had any misplaced seeds. The Canon Viamo portable machine is easy to set up and use and has improved the quality of our practical demonstrations.

The target audience for the workshop includes breast radiologists, radiographers, surgeons, key theatre and pathology staff, nuclear medicine physicists and radiation protection advisors.   Further workshops are planned and anyone interested can contact




Shown here is the team at the Royal Victoria Infirmary, left to right, Mr. Adam Critchley, Consultant Oncoplastic Breast Surgeon; Dr. George Petrides, Consultant Radiologist; Dr. Nidhi Sibal, Consultant Radiologist, Breast Screening Programme Director; Merilyn Cockburn and Jenni Scott, Advanced Practitioner Radiographers and Dr. Richard Peace, Clinical Scientist & Nuclear Medicine Physicist



Canon Medical Systems has a carbon-zero project in place.  We have calculated the carbon footprint for each of our products to include manufacturing, shipping, delivery and average hospital energy used for the standard lifetime of the equipment as follows:

Ultrasound equates to 1 stove and 3,415 litres of water