3Sonic- A novel 3D imaging device to improve precision in cancer surgery

We are a research group at Øre-Næse-Halskirurgi og Audiologi department at Rigshospitalet. Our team, Surgical Ultrasound Research Group in Copenhagen (SURGiC – www.surgic.dk ) aims to improve patient care through the development of new ultrasound methods to improve fast and precise diagnostic workup and minimally invasive treatments of surgical patients.


Cancer is the second largest disease burden worldwide and is expected to become the leading cause of death soon. Cancer surgery is the primary cancer treatment, especially for younger patients and early-stage cancer. The main goal of cancer surgery is to resect all cancer tissue with a safe margin of healthy tissue around (surgical margins) to ensure no cancer cells are left in the body. Inadequate surgical margins following cancer surgery reduce the chance of survival and necessitate adjuvant treatments with repeated surgery, radiotherapy, and/or chemotherapy. During surgery, it can be difficult to accurately identify the tumor’s boundaries. We have, therefore, designed 3Sonic which is a new medical device to improve surgical margin assessment ( www.3sonic.com).  This device uses new technology to construct high-resolution 3D ultrasound imaging of surgical specimens within a couple of minutes in the operating room.

Achieving adequate surgical margins is a critical concern in cancer surgery. Identifying the precise boundaries of a tumor during surgery is often challenging, leading to high rates of inadequate margins in various cancers. For instance, inadequate surgical margins have been reported to be as high as 70% in breast cancer, 46% in liver cancer, and 44% in oral cancer. This makes finding solutions to accurately determine and achieve clear surgical margins essential in every tumor resection surgery, as it significantly impacts the success of the treatment and the likelihood of the cancer’s recurrence.

Addressing the challenge of achieving adequate surgical margins is crucial because insufficient margins can lead to residual cancerous tissue being left behind. This increases the risk of cancer recurrence and may necessitate additional treatments, like repeat surgeries or adjuvant therapies, which can be stressful and harmful to patients. Ensuring clear margins in the initial surgery improves treatment success, reduces the likelihood of cancer returning, and enhances overall patient outcomes and quality of life.



Afdeling for Øre-Næse-Halskirurgi og Audiologi


The project team comprises of a handful of full-time staff, a large group of loosely affiliated partners, external collaborators as well as patients and next of kin who contribute to co-creation processes. However, the offices assigned to the project appear uninspiring and with out any identifying traits. The project needs a place people will want to visit, that can inspire creative thinking, that seems friendly and welcoming to collaborators. A place that embodies the dedication and visions shared in the team.


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