Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


SPECT/CT combined with fluorescence imaging detects micrometastases


Dual-modality imaging could guide cancer surgery

Researchers in The Netherlands have demonstrated that combining SPECT/CT and fluorescence imaging could help surgeons differentiate tumor tissue from normal tissue. The research is detailed in the featured basic science article of the May 2017 issue of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine.

Pulmonary tumor lesions could be visualized with micro-SPECT/CT (coronal view A, sagittal view B). Some physiologic uptake of the tracer in the liver and lymph nodes is observed. After resection of the thoracoabdominal wall, no tumor lesions were visible with the naked eye (C). Fluorescence imaging with the IVIS lumina closed cabinet fluorescence camera system could identify the superficially located tumor lesions (D). Fluorescence imaging with the Odyssey flatbed fluorescence scanner of the resected lungs could visualize numerous pulmonary lesions (E). L = lung, H = heart.

Credit: M.C.H. Hekman, Department of Radiology & Nuclear Medicine, Radboudumc, Nijmegen, The Netherlands

The study focused on colorectal cancer (CRC) that metastasized beyond the primary tumor. CRC is the second most common cancer in men and the third most common in women. According to the American Cancer Society, more than 50,000 people in the U.S. are expected to die from the disease in 2017.

"This study shows that micrometastases of colorectal carcinoma can be detected specifically with fluorescence imaging and SPECT/CT before they become visible with the naked eye," says Marlène C.H. Hekman of the Department of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine at Radboudumc, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

... more about:
»CT »Molecular »Nuclear Medicine »SPECT »fluorescence

The researchers used a mouse model to show that pulmonary micrometastases of CRC can be identified with labetuzumab, labeled with both a near-infrared fluorescent dye (IRDye800CW) and a radioactive label (Indium-111). Labetuzumab, developed by Immunomedics, Inc., is an antibody that targets carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), which is overexpressed in approximately 95 percent of CRC cases. Specifically, it is an investigational anti-CEA-related cell adhesion molecule 5 (CEACAM5) antibody.

Sub-millimeter pulmonary tumor colonies were visualized with both micro-SPECT and fluorescence imaging from the first week of tumor growth. In addition, the study demonstrated that dual-modality imaging can be used to guide resection of tumor lesions.

"Complete tumor resection is crucial for optimal prognosis of cancer patients," Hekman explains. "Intraoperative imaging can help the surgeon to resect residual disease completely. To be of optimal benefit in the operating room, dual-modality imaging should be able to detect very small tumor lesions that might otherwise be missed."

She points out, "The study shows that SPECT and fluorescence dual-modality imaging after injection of Indium-111-DTPA-labetuzumab-IRDye800CW is able to detect tiny CEA-expressing nodules. This strategy can also be used for other types of cancer, when a different tumor-targeting antibody is used. It is, therefore, relevant for a broad range of cancer types. Since our findings may be translated to a broad range of tumor types, dual-modality imaging may revolutionize oncological surgery and improve the prognosis of cancer patients."


The authors of Detection of micrometastases using SPECT/fluorescence dual-modality imaging in a CEA-expressing tumor model include Marlene C.H. Hekman, Mark Rijpkema, Desirée Bos, Egbert Oosterwijk, Peter F.A. Mulders, and Otto C. Boerman, Radboudumc, Nijmegen, The Netherlands; and David M. Goldenberg, Immunomedics, Inc., Morris Plains, New Jersey.

Please visit the SNMMI Media Center ( to view the PDF of the study, including images, and more information about molecular imaging and personalized medicine. To schedule an interview with the researchers, please contact Laurie Callahan at (703) 652-6773 or Current and past issues of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine can be found online at

About the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging

The Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) is an international scientific and medical organization dedicated to raising public awareness about nuclear medicine and molecular imaging, a vital element of today's medical practice that adds an additional dimension to diagnosis, changing the way common and devastating diseases are understood and treated and helping provide patients with the best health care possible.

SNMMI's more than 17,000 members set the standard for molecular imaging and nuclear medicine practice by creating guidelines, sharing information through journals and meetings and leading advocacy on key issues that affect molecular imaging and therapy research and practice. For more information, visit

Media Contact

Laurie Callahan


Laurie Callahan | EurekAlert!

Further reports about: CT Molecular Nuclear Medicine SPECT fluorescence

More articles from Medical Engineering:

nachricht Münster researchers make a fly’s heartbeat visible / Software automatically recognizes pulse
12.03.2018 | Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster

nachricht 3-D-written model to provide better understanding of cancer spread
05.03.2018 | Purdue University

All articles from Medical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Space observation with radar to secure Germany's space infrastructure

Satellites in near-Earth orbit are at risk due to the steady increase in space debris. But their mission in the areas of telecommunications, navigation or weather forecasts is essential for society. Fraunhofer FHR therefore develops radar-based systems which allow the detection, tracking and cataloging of even the smallest particles of debris. Satellite operators who have access to our data are in a better position to plan evasive maneuvers and prevent destructive collisions. From April, 25-29 2018, Fraunhofer FHR and its partners will exhibit the complementary radar systems TIRA and GESTRA as well as the latest radar techniques for space observation across three stands at the ILA Berlin.

The "traffic situation" in space is very tense: the Earth is currently being orbited not only by countless satellites but also by a large volume of space...

Im Focus: Researchers Discover New Anti-Cancer Protein

An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.

The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...

Im Focus: Researchers at Fraunhofer monitor re-entry of Chinese space station Tiangong-1

In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.

Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...

Im Focus: Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.

They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

New solar solutions for sustainable buildings and cities

23.03.2018 | Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Don't Give the Slightest Chance to Toxic Elements in Medicinal Products

23.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Sensitive grip

23.03.2018 | Materials Sciences

No compromises: Combining the benefits of 3D printing and casting

23.03.2018 | Process Engineering

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>