Optical molecular imaging can differentiate metastatic from benign lymph nodes in head and neck cancer

Nat Commun. 2019 Nov 6;10(1):5044. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-13076-7.

Abstract

Identification of lymph node (LN) metastasis is essential for staging of solid tumors, and as a result, surgeons focus on harvesting significant numbers of LNs during ablative procedures for pathological evaluation. Isolating those LNs most likely to harbor metastatic disease can allow for a more rigorous evaluation of fewer LNs. Here we evaluate the impact of a systemically injected, near-infrared fluorescently-labeled, tumor-targeting contrast agent, panitumumab-IRDye800CW, to facilitate the identification of metastatic LNs in the ex vivo setting for head and neck cancer patients. Molecular imaging demonstrates a significantly higher mean fluorescence signal in metastatic LNs compared to benign LNs in head and neck cancer patients undergoing an elective neck dissection. Molecular imaging to preselect at-risk LNs may thus allow a more rigorous examination of LNs and subsequently lead to improved prognostication than regular neck dissection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / surgery
  • Humans
  • Lymph Nodes / diagnostic imaging*
  • Lymph Nodes / pathology*
  • Lymph Nodes / surgery
  • Lymphatic Metastasis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Lymphatic Metastasis / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Imaging / methods*
  • Optical Imaging / methods*
  • Staining and Labeling

Substances

  • Fluorescent Dyes