Esophageal cancer was the sixth common cancer for incidence and ranks fourth for death rate in China, and squamous cell carcinoma is the main histological type. It is usually in an advanced stage at the time of diagnosis, resulting in an overall 5-year survival rate of <15%. Early detection can lead to an improvement in patient outcomes but is limited by nonspecific contrast mechanisms. As all we know, antibody and peptides establish a biological basis for image contrast, which could achieve sufficient target-to-background ratio for in vivo detection. In this paper, an EGFR antibody (Cetuximab) conjugated with an NIR dye (NIRDye800) was used for early detection of esophageal cancer. We demonstrated our technology could identify esophageal cancer in small size (<1 mm) and high-grade dysplasia from low-grade dysplasia. And 4.2-fold greater fluorescence intensity for esophageal cancer compared with surrounding normal esophageal tissues. No toxicity was observed in our experiments. The result indicated that this targeted, antibody-based imaging agents have great potential in early detection of esophageal cancer and other epidermal cancer.

Citation Format: Xibo Ma, Hui Meng, Jie Tian. Molecular imaging of human esophageal cancer for early detection [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2017; 2017 Apr 1-5; Washington, DC. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2017;77(13 Suppl):Abstract nr 1868. doi:10.1158/1538-7445.AM2017-1868