Northern Westchester Hospital First in State to Use Magtrace® Dye to Avoid Surgery for Some Breast Cancer Patients

Ranjana Chaterji, MS, DO (Courtesy of  Northern Westchester Hospital)

Northern Westchester Hospital is the first hospital in New York State to use a non-radioactive guidance system to locate and remove tumors in patients with invasive breast cancer. The Magtrace® and Sentimag® Magnetic Localization System uses magnetic detection during sentinel lymph node biopsy procedures to identify specific lymph nodes, known as sentinel lymph nodes, for surgical removal.

According to Ranjana Chaterji, MS, DO, a breast surgeon at Northern Westchester Hospital’s Breast Care Center, who is now using the new technology, sentinel lymph nodes are the first place cancer cells are likely to spread from a primary tumor. A sentinel lymph node biopsy identifies, removes and examines lymph nodes to determine the presence or absence of cancer cells.

“This technology is an important advancement that allows us to eliminate unnecessary surgery and tailor treatments for patients,” says Dr. Chaterji. “The technology is transformational because it helps us accurately pinpoint specific nodes to preserve healthy tissue. The dye remains in the lymph nodes for up to 30 days, giving us ample time to get back the pathology. If we need to go back in, we know exactly which lymph node to remove.”

The Sentimag System uses magnetic materials to guide sentinel lymph node biopsies. The magnetic tracer drug is injected into breast tissue, where it becomes physically trapped inside lymph nodes. Using the system’s hand-held wand and base unit display, surgeons follow signals that detect small amounts of Magtrace® to locate the sentinel lymph nodes, which can be removed through a small incision and checked by a pathologist for the presence of cancer cells.

For more information about the Breast Care Center at NWH, visit For more information about Dr. Chaterji, visit


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