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Intraoperative Molecular Imaging of Lung Adenocarcinoma Can Identify Residual Tumor Cells at the Surgical Margins

Abstract

Purpose

During lung surgery, identification of surgical margins is challenging. We hypothesized that molecular imaging with a fluorescent probe to pulmonary adenocarcinomas could enhance residual tumor during resection.

Procedures

Mice with flank tumors received a contrast agent targeting folate receptor alpha. Optimal dose and time of injection was established. Margin detection was compared using traditional methods versus molecular imaging. A pilot study was then performed in three humans with lung adenocarcinoma.

Results

The peak tumor-to-background ratio (TBR) of murine tumors was 3.9. Fluorescence peaked at 2 h and was not improved beyond 0.1 mg/kg. Traditional inspection identified 30 % of mice with positive margins. Molecular imaging identified an additional 50 % of residual tumor deposits (p < 0.05). The fluorescent probe visually enhanced all human tumors with a mean TBR of 3.5.

Conclusions

Molecular imaging is an important adjunct to traditional inspection to identify surgical margins after tumor resection.

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Funding

This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health RO1 CA163256.

Conflict of Interest

Dr. Low is a consultant and stakeholder in OnTarget Laboratories LLC. Dr. Nie discloses a relationship as a consultant for Spectropath Inc.

Author information

Correspondence to Sunil Singhal.

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Keating, J.J., Okusanya, O.T., De Jesus, E. et al. Intraoperative Molecular Imaging of Lung Adenocarcinoma Can Identify Residual Tumor Cells at the Surgical Margins. Mol Imaging Biol 18, 209–218 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11307-015-0878-9

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Key words

  • Surgical oncology
  • Molecular imaging
  • Lung cancer
  • Thoracic surgery
  • Folate receptor alpha