Background: Positive surgical margins remain a significant challenge in breast cancer surgery. This report describes the use of a novel, first-in-human ratiometric activatable cell-penetrating peptide in breast cancer surgery.
Methods: A two-part, multi-institutional phase 1 trial of AVB-620 with a 3+3 dose escalation and dose-expansion cohorts was conducted. The patients received an infusion of AVB-620 2-20 h before planned lumpectomy/mastectomy and sentinel node biopsy/axillary dissection. Imaging analysis was performed on images obtained from the surgical field as well as post-excision surgical specimens. Pathology reports were obtained to correlate imaging results with histopathologic data. Information on physical adverse events and laboratory abnormalities were recorded.
Results: A total of 27 patients received infusion of AVB-620 and underwent surgical excision of breast cancer. The findings showed no adverse events or laboratory values attributable to infusion of AVB-620. The 8-mg dose was selected from the dose-escalation cohort for use with the expansion cohort based on imaging data. Region-of-interest (ROI) imaging analysis from the 8-mg cohort demonstrated measurable changes between pathology confirmed tumor-positive and tumor-negative tissue.
Conclusion: Intraoperative imaging of surgical specimens after infusion with AVB-620 allowed for real-time tumor detection. Infusion of AVB-620 is safe and may improve intraoperative detection of malignant tissue during breast cancer operations.