Shifting Focus in Optical Image-Guided Cancer Therapy

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Cancer patients could benefit from a surgical procedure that helps the surgeon to determine adequate tumor resection margins. Systemic injection of tumor-specific fluorescence agents with subsequent intraoperative optical imaging can guide the surgeon in this process. However, tumor heterogeneity hampers tumor-specific targeting. In addition, determination of adequate resection margins can be very challenging due to invasive tumor strands that are difficult to resolve and because of the confounding effect of variations in tissue optical properties in the surgical margin. We provide an overview of the "classic approach" of imaging tumor-specific targets or tumor-associated pathophysiological processes, and explain the limitations of these targeting strategies. It is proposed that problems of tumor heterogeneity can theoretically be circumvented by shifting focus of tumor targeting towards the follicle-stimulating hormone receptor (FSHR). Furthermore, we discuss why objective determination of resection margins is required to improve resection of the invasive strands, a goal that may be achieved by targeting the FSHR. When invasive strands would nevertheless extend beyond such a standardized resection margin, we suggest that adjuvant photodynamic therapy would be a very suitable therapeutic regimen. Finally, we describe how point optical spectroscopy can be used to scrutinize suspect tissue that is difficult to differentiate from normal tissue by measuring the local tissue optical properties to recover a local intrinsic fluorescence measurement.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular Imaging and Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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