Dr. Steven de Jongh is a medical doctor in the Optical Molecular Imaging Group (OMIG) at the University Medical Center in Groningen. He tells us more about his recent publication 'Back-Table Fluorescence-Guided Imaging for Circumferential Resection Margin Evaluation Using Bevacizumab-800CW in Patients with Locally Advanced Rectal Cancer'.
Why do you do research in this area? What do you find interesting/important about it?
In oncological surgery, obtaining tumor-negative resection margins is crucial for preventing local recurrence and improving survival. However, the intraoperative differentiation between malignant and surrounding healthy tissue can be quite challenging, as surgeons mainly rely on visual and tactile inspection alone. Fluorescence-guided imaging using targeted near-infrared imaging agents is a novel and emerging technique that has the potential to evaluate the resection margin status in ‘real-time’, thereby potentially improving intraoperative decision making.
What is your publication about?
In this proof-of-concept study, we investigated the feasibility of targeted fluorescence-guided imaging as a tool to evaluate the circumferential resection margin status during and directly after surgical resection of locally advanced rectal cancer, in order to improve tumor-negative resection margin rates.
What did you expect as a result when you started the research project?
Over the past decade, fluorescence-guided imaging has been mainly applied as an intraoperative imaging technique for surgical navigation. Interestingly however, several recent research projects, among which this publication, have suggested that fluorescence-guided imaging might provide increasing added value when applied to the surgical specimen directly after resection, as the technique can then be applied in a controlled and standardized closed-field imaging environment.
Optical Molecular Imaging Group