Characterizing the utility and limitations of repurposing an open-field optical imaging device for fluorescence-guided surgery in head and neck cancer patients

Academic Article


  • The purpose of this study was to assess the potential of U.S. Food and Drug Administration-cleared devices designed for indocyanine green-based perfusion imaging to identify cancer-specific bioconjugates with overlapping excitation and emission wavelengths. Recent clinical trials have demonstrated potential for fluorescenceguided surgery, but the time and cost of the approval process may impede clinical translation. To expedite this translation, we explored the feasibility of repurposing existing optical imaging devices for fluorescence-guided surgery. Methods: Consenting patients (n = 15) scheduled for curative resection were enrolled in a clinical trial evaluating the safety and specificity of cetuximab-IRDye800 (NCT01987375). Open-field fluorescence imaging was performed preoperatively and during the surgical resection. Fluorescence intensity was quantified using integrated instrument software, and the tumor-to-background ratio characterized fluorescence contrast. Results: In the preoperative clinic, the open-field device demonstrated potential to guide preoperative mapping of tumor borders, optimize the day of surgery, and identify occult lesions. Intraoperatively, the device demonstrated robust potential to guide surgical resections, as all peak tumor-to-background ratios were greater than 2 (range, 2.2-14.1). Postresection wound bed fluorescence was significantly less than preresection tumor fluorescence (P < 0.001). The repurposed device also successfully identified positive margins. Conclusion: The open-field imaging device was successfully repurposed to distinguish cancer from normal tissue in the preoperative clinic and throughout surgical resection. This study illuminated the potential for existing open-field optical imaging devices with overlapping excitation and emission spectra to be used for fluorescence-guided surgery.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Moore LS; Rosenthal EL; Chung TK; De Boer E; Patel N; Prince AC; Korb ML; Walsh EM; Young ES; Stevens TM
  • Start Page

  • 246
  • End Page

  • 251
  • Volume

  • 58
  • Issue

  • 2