Background: This study compared the surgical results of 2 localization methods-cryo-assisted localization (CAL) and needle-wire localization (NWL)-in patients undergoing breast lumpectomy for breast cancer. Methods: A total of 310 patients were treated in an institutional review board-approved study with 18 surgeons at 17 sites. Patients were randomized 2:1 to undergo either intraoperative CAL or NWL. A cryoprobe was inserted under ultrasound guidance in the operating room and an ice ball created an 8- to 10-mm margin around the lesion. The palpable ice ball then was dissected. NWL was placed according to institutional practice and resection was performed in a standard fashion. Surgical margins, complications, re-excisions, tissue volume, procedure times, ease of localization, specimen quality, and patient satisfaction were evaluated. Positive margins were defined as any type of disease present 1 mm or less from any specimen edge. Results: Positive margin status did not differ between the 2 groups (28% vs. 31%). The volume of tissue removed was significantly less in the CAL group (49 vs. 66 mL, P = .002). Re-excisions were similar in both groups. CAL was superior in ease of lumpectomy, quality of specimen, acute surgical cosmesis, short-term cosmesis, patient satisfaction, and overall procedure time for the patient. CAL had a lower invasive positive margin rate (11% vs. 20%, P = .039) but a higher observed ductal carcinoma in situ-positive margin rate (30% vs. 18%, approaching statistical significance, P = .052). Conclusions: CAL is a preferred alternative to standard wire localization because it provides a palpable template, removes less tissue and improves cosmesis, decreases overall procedure time, and is more convenient for the patient and surgeon.
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