An early trial of Lumicell’s surgical imaging agent returned promising results, according to findings published Wednesday in Science Translational Medicine.
Lumicell’s surgical imaging system is made up of a hand-held single-cell detection imaging device and a cancer-specific molecular imaging agent, the company said. The technology is designed to be optimized for specific cancer-types and surgical procedures.
Early data from a trial of the system in 15 patients undergoing surgery for soft-tissue sarcoma or breast cancer indicated that the cancer-identifying agent was able to distinguish cancerous tissue in the patients without adverse effects.
“At the time of surgery, a pathologist can examine the tissue for cancer cells at the edge of the tumor using a microscope, but because of the size of cancer it’s impossible to review the entire surface during surgery. The goal is to give surgeons a practical and quick technology that allows them to scan the tumor bed during surgery to look for any residual fluorescence,” study senior author Dr. David Kirsch of the Duke University School of Medicine said in a press release.
A feasibility study of the system at Massachusetts General Hospital is evaluating the safety and efficacy of the system in a prospective trial of 50 women with breast cancer.
Lumicell won FDA approval to launch the feasibility study of its intraoperative imaging system for patients with esophageal, colorectal and pancreatic cancers. The study is supported by a grant from the National Cancer Institute’s Spore program.
“This pathologic technique to determine whether tumor remains in the patient is the best system we have currently, and has been in use for decades, but it’s not as accurate as we would like. If this technology is successful in subsequent trials, it would significantly change our treatment of sarcoma. If we can increase the cases where 100% of the tumor is removed, we could prevent subsequent operations and potentially cancer recurrence. Knowing where there is residual disease can also guide radiation therapy, or even reduce how much radiation a patient will receive,” senior study author Dr. Brian Brigman of Duke University School of Medicine said in prepared remarks.