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Fluorescence Molecular Imaging in Head and Neck Cancer Patients

In oral cancer surgery, the ultimate goal is to obtain tumor-negative resection margins. Yet, tumor-positive resection margins (i.e., <1mm) occur in up to 43% of the patients, and is associated with disease-specific death. Currently, no tools are clinically available to guide the surgeon in obtaining a complete resection. Phase I studies have shown the potential of Fluorescence Molecular Imaging (FMI) for intraoperative margin assessment, although studies that determine its clinical value are lacking.  In this presentation, the author will reflect on two clinical trials performed at the University Medical Center Groningen (phase I-II), in which FMI was investigated in oral cancer patients. Both the results of an antibody-based and a pH-sensitive fluorescent imaging agent will be discussed.

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