Detection of Early Esophageal Neoplastic Barrett Lesions with Quantified Fluorescence Molecular Endoscopy Using Cetuximab-800CW

Ruben Y. Gabriëls, Lisanne E. van Heijst, Wouter T.R. Hooghiemstra, Anne M. van der Waaij, Gursah Kats-Ugurlu, Arend Karrenbeld, Dominic J. Robinson, Anna Tenditnaya, Vasilis Ntziachristos, Dimitris Gorpas, Wouter B. Nagengast*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Esophageal adenocarcinoma causes 6% of cancer-related deaths worldwide. Near-infrared fluorescence molecular endoscopy (NIR-FME) uses a tracer that targets overexpressed proteins. In this study, we aimed to investigate the feasibility of an epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-targeted tracer, cetuximab-800CW, to improve detection of early-stage esophageal adenocarcinoma. Methods: We validated EGFR expression in 73 esophageal tissue sections. Subsequently, we topically administered cetuximab-800CW and performed high-definition white-light endoscopy (HD-WLE), narrow-band imaging, and NIR-FME in 15 patients with Barrett esophagus (BE). Intrinsic fluorescence values were quantified using multidiameter single-fiber reflectance and single-fiber fluorescence spectroscopy. Back-table imaging, histopathologic examination, and EGFR immunohistochemistry on biopsy samples collected during NIR-FME procedures were performed and compared with in vivo imaging results. Results: Immunohistochemical preanalysis showed high EGFR expression in 67% of dysplastic tissue sections. NIR-FME visualized all 12 HD-WLE-visible lesions and 5 HD-WLE-invisible dysplastic lesions, with increased fluorescence signal in visible dysplastic BE lesions compared with nondysplastic BE as shown by multidiameter single-fiber reflectance/single-fiber fluorescence, reflecting a target-to-background ratio of 1.5. Invisible dysplastic lesions also showed increased fluorescence, with a target-to-background ratio of 1.67. Immunohistochemistry analysis showed EGFR overexpression in 16 of 17 (94%) dysplastic BE lesions, which all showed fluorescence signal. Conclusion: This study has shown that NIR-FME using cetuximab-800CW can improve detection of dysplastic lesions missed by HD-WLE and narrow-band imaging.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)803-808
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of nuclear medicine : official publication, Society of Nuclear Medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no. 643638 (TRANSCAN-2; project ESCEND) as well as the Dutch Cancer Society, Amsterdam, the Netherlands and the Bundesministerium fur Bildung und Forschung (BMBF), Bonn, Germany (FKZ 01KT1809).

Publisher Copyright:
COPYRIGHT © 2023 by the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging.


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