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

Jane J. Keating, Olugbenga T. Okusanya, Elizabeth De Jesus, Ryan Judy, Jack Jiang, Charuhas Deshpande, Shuming Nie, Philip Low, Sunil Singhal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)209-218
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular Imaging and Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016


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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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