Sentinel lymph node status is a critical prognostic factor in breast cancer treatment and is essential to guide future adjuvant treatment. The estimation that 20-60% of micrometastases are missed by conventional pathology has created a demand for the development of more accurate approaches. Here, a paired-agent imaging approach is presented that employs a control imaging agent to allow rapid, quantitative mapping of microscopic populations of tumor cells in lymph nodes to guide pathology sectioning. To test the feasibility of this approach to identify micrometastases, healthy pig lymph nodes were stained with targeted and control imaging agent solution to evaluate the potential for the agents to diffuse into and out of intact nodes. Aby-029, an anti-EGFR affibody was labeled with IRDye 800CW (LICOR) as targeted agent and IRDye 700DX was hydrolyzed as a control agent. Lymph nodes were stained and rinsed by directly injecting the agents into the lymph nodes after immobilization in agarose gel. Subsequently, lymph nodes were frozen-sectioned and imaged under an 80-um resolution fluorescence imaging system (Pearl, LICOR) to confirm equivalence of spatial distribution of both agents in the entire node. The binding potentials were acquired by a pixel-by-pixel calculation and was found to be 0.02 ± 0.06 along the lymph node in the absence of binding. The results demonstrate this approach’s potential to enhance the sensitivity of lymph node pathology by detecting fewer than 1000 cell in a whole human lymph node.
Chengyue Li, Xiaochun Xu, Yusairah Basheer, Yusheng He, Husain A. Sattar, Jovan G. Brankov, and Kenneth M. Tichauer, "Paired-agent fluorescent imaging to detect micrometastases in breast sentinel lymph node biopsy: experiment design and protocol development," Proc. SPIE 10484, Advanced Biomedical and Clinical Diagnostic and Surgical Guidance Systems XVI, 1048402 (Presented at SPIE BiOS: January 28, 2018; Published: 12 February 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2290985.
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