Annals of Surgical Oncology

, Volume 19, Issue 12, pp 3879–3887 | Cite as

Use of Panitumumab-IRDye800 to Image Microscopic Head and Neck Cancer in an Orthotopic Surgical Model

  • C. Hope Heath
  • Nicholas L. Deep
  • Larissa Sweeny
  • Kurt R. Zinn
  • Eben L. RosenthalEmail author
Head and Neck Oncology



Fluorescence imaging hardware (SPY) has recently been developed for intraoperative assessment of blood flow via detection of probes emitting in the near-infrared (NIR) spectrum. This study sought to determine if this imaging system was capable of detecting micrometastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) in preclinical models.


A NIR fluorescent probe (IRDye800CW) was covalently linked to a monoclonal antibody targeting epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR; panitumumab) or nonspecific IgG. HNSCC flank (SCC-1) and orthotopic (FADU and OSC19) xenografts were imaged 48–96 h after systemic injection of labeled panitumumab or IgG. The primary tumor and regional lymph nodes were dissected using fluorescence guidance with the SPY system and grossly assessed with a charge-coupled NIR system (Pearl). Histologic slides were also imaged with a NIR charged-coupled device (Odyssey) and fluorescence intensity was correlated with pathologic confirmation of disease.


Orthotopic tongue tumors were clearly delineated from normal tissue with tumor-to-background ratios of 2.9 (Pearl) and 2.3 (SPY). Disease detection was significantly improved with panitumumab-IRDye compared to IgG-IRDye800 (P < 0.05). Tissue biopsy samples (average size 3.7 mm) positive for fluorescence were confirmed for pathologic disease by histology and immunohistochemistry (n = 25 of 25). Biopsy samples of nonfluorescent tissue were proven to be negative for malignancy (n = 28 of 28). The SPY was able to detect regional lymph node metastasis (<1.0 mm) and microscopic areas of disease. Standard histological assessment in both frozen and paraffin-embedded histologic specimens was augmented using the Odyssey.


Panitumumab-IRDye800 may have clinical utility in detection and removal of microscopic HNSCC using existing intraoperative optical imaging hardware and may augment analysis of frozen and permanent pathology.


Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Cetuximab Indocyanine Green Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Supported in part by a grant from NIDCR (R21DE019232) and equipment donated by Novadaq. The authors thank Yolanda Hartman for running the Western blot assays.

Supplementary material

Supplementary material 1 (M4V 30,045 kb)


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Copyright information

© Society of Surgical Oncology 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Hope Heath
    • 1
  • Nicholas L. Deep
    • 1
  • Larissa Sweeny
    • 1
  • Kurt R. Zinn
    • 2
  • Eben L. Rosenthal
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of SurgeryUniversity of Alabama at BirminghamBirminghamUSA
  2. 2.Department of RadiologyUniversity of Alabama at BirminghamBirminghamUSA

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