UCL Mathematical & Physical Sciences


UCL spinout uses magnetic sensing technology to radically improve breast cancer care

UCL spinout Endomag has pioneered the use of magnetic technology to improve the staging and treatment of small and early-stage breast cancer.

magnetic sensing technology

Endomag’s magnetic sensing technologies, underpinned by research from UCL and the University of Houston, allow clinicians to mark and remove breast cancer with much greater precision. These technologies are more flexible for both the clinician and the patient, while also being less invasive than alternative approaches. 

One of the company’s pioneering technologies is the Magtrace lymphatic tracer, which is used to help stage breast cancer. 

Magtrace is injected into the breast by the clinician. It then follows the same path as an invasive cancer would, before ‘marking’ the lymph nodes most likely to be affected by any potential cancer. The surgeon then uses a magnetic probe to identify the nodes and surgically remove them, before sending them to pathology for further analysis. 

Lead academic on the project Professor Quentin Pankhurst explains: “In recent years, advances in breast cancer care have led to a reduction in unnecessary surgeries for patients. It is important that technology keeps up with these advances, and in Magtrace I believe we have created a solution that has made a genuinely positive change to the way breast cancer is staged.”

As well as Magtrace, the company has also developed a tiny magnetic seed which is used for marking and removing breast tumours with much greater precision. 

Endomag’s magnetic sensing technologies are now widely recognised as proven and effective methods for treating breast cancer. The company’s products have already helped more than 250,000 patients in over 850 hospitals in more than 45 countries.  

Read the full story on the UCLB website