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A Pinch of Hope: Lidocaine’s Role in Improving Breast


In a world of constant medical advancements and breakthroughs, it’s always encouraging to find new, simpler ways to enhance the effectiveness of cancer treatments. A recent development in breast cancer surgery has piqued the interest of the medical community and given hope to patients undergoing mastectomy or breast-conserving surgery. Peritumoral injection of lidocaine, a common local anesthetic, prior to incision has shown promising results in improving both disease-free survival and overall survival in early breast cancer patients.

The Study's Revelation

A multicenter, randomized trial involving over 1000 patients with early breast cancer unveiled a significant finding. Patients who received a peritumoral injection of 0.5% lidocaine just before incision exhibited remarkable improvements in their five-year disease-free survival and overall survival rates. The numbers tell a compelling story – 87% versus 83% for disease-free survival and 90% versus 86% for overall survival.

How Does Lidocaine Make a Difference?

The most intriguing aspect of this discovery is that the exact mechanism behind lidocaine’s positive impact remains unknown. However, it’s believed to involve the blocking of voltage-gated sodium channels, which plays a crucial role in preventing the activation of prometastatic pathways. This inhibition might be the key to its success in increasing the odds of survival and reducing the risk of disease recurrence.

Challenging the Status Quo

One aspect of this trial that sets it apart from standard clinical practices is the deviation from traditional surgical breast cancer management protocols. This divergence raises the need for further validation to ensure that lidocaine’s benefits are consistent across different clinical settings.

A Simple and Cost-Effective Intervention

One of the most appealing aspects of this discovery is the sheer simplicity and cost-effectiveness of the intervention. Lidocaine is a widely available and affordable anesthetic. Administering it as a peritumoral injection before incision doesn’t require complex procedures or costly resources. This ease of use makes it an attractive option for improving breast cancer surgery outcomes.

The Road Ahead

While the results of this trial are indeed exciting, further research and validation are necessary to solidify lidocaine’s role in breast cancer surgery. The medical community eagerly anticipates more studies that can confirm the positive impact of this intervention across a broader spectrum of clinical practices.


In the realm of breast cancer surgery, hope often comes in small and unexpected packages. The peritumoral injection of lidocaine before incision is one such example, offering a beacon of optimism to early breast cancer patients. By challenging the status quo and enhancing survival rates with a straightforward and cost-effective intervention, lidocaine has the potential to change the way we approach breast cancer surgery. As we eagerly await further studies, this discovery reminds us that sometimes, even the simplest solutions can have the most profound impact on the lives of those affected by cancer.

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Al Zahra Hospital, Dubai, UAE

Oncology Coordinator


Delisa: +971 55 584 5815


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