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EAU 2021 | c-MET receptor-targeted fluorescence for image-guided surgery in PSCC

Hielke-Martijn De Vries, MD, Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, Netherlands, shares the initial findings of a prospective feasibility study of real-time intraoperative visualization of penile squamous cell carcinoma (PSCC) using the fluorescent c-MET receptor targeting tracer, EMI-137. Dr De Vries reports that fluorescence imaging of c-MET receptor-expressing PSCC tumors following intravenous injection of EMI-137 was found to be feasible and can be used in combination with fluorescence-based lymphatic mapping. This interview took place at the virtual European Association of Urology (EAU) Virtual Meeting 2021.

Transcript (edited for clarity)

In this poster, in this extract, we actually looked at if it was possible to visualize the primary tumor better using a fluorescent agent. And previously a study had shown that most penile cancers expressed cMet higher than the surrounding tissue. So, we aimed the fluorescent tracer cMet using a fluorescence tracer called EMI-137, and which produced by adding [inaudible] molecular imaging. And this tracer had already been used in colonoscopy to visualize colon polyps, which had been very successful...

In this poster, in this extract, we actually looked at if it was possible to visualize the primary tumor better using a fluorescent agent. And previously a study had shown that most penile cancers expressed cMet higher than the surrounding tissue. So, we aimed the fluorescent tracer cMet using a fluorescence tracer called EMI-137, and which produced by adding [inaudible] molecular imaging. And this tracer had already been used in colonoscopy to visualize colon polyps, which had been very successful.

And then we wanted to test this first ex vivo in ten resected tumor specimens to see if we saw any signal. And actually, all of these ten ex vivo specimens freshly resected showed fluorescent [inaudible] of the tumor. On resection in pathology, we saw in immunostaining that the tissues also expressed cMet. So, we continued to administer this tracer intravenously in five penile cancer patients to see if we would be able to visualize the tumor as well in intraoperatively.

This was also the case, all five penile cancer patients expressed a cMet and were visualized by the fluorescent tracer. This was actually very promising. And we’re now working to see if we can change the florescent part for a radioactive part to see if we will be able to use it as a potential PET tracer. This promising research was in collaboration with data intervention or molecular imaging group from Leiden, which we worked very closely with and I’m very thankful to this collaboration.

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