PURPOSE: To identify the optimal dosing strategy for fluorescence-guided surgery in patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, we conducted a dose-ranging study evaluating the anti-epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) therapeutic antibody, panitumumab, that was fluorescently labeled with the near-infrared dye IRDye800CW.PROCEDURES: Patients (n=24) received either 0.5 or 1.0mg/kg panitumumab-IRDye800CW in the weight-based dosing group or 25 or 50mg panitumumab-IRDye800CW in the fixed dosing group. Following surgery, whole primary specimens were imaged in a closed-field device and the mean fluorescence intensity (MFI) and tumor-to-background ratio (TBR) were assessed. Clinical variables, including dose, time of infusion-to-surgery, age, unlabeled dose, gender, primary tumor site, and tumor size, were analyzed to evaluate the factors affecting the fluorescence intensity in order to identify the optimal dose for intraoperative fluorescence imaging.RESULTS: A total of 24 primary tumor specimens were imaged and analyzed in this study. Although no correlations between TBR and dose of panitumumab-IRDye800CW were found, there were moderate-strong correlations between the primary tumor MFI and panitumumab-IRDye800CW dose for fixed dose (mg) (R2=0.42) and for dose/weight (mg/kg) (R2=0.54). Results indicated that the optimal MFI was at approximately 50mg for fixed dose and 0.75mg/kg for dose/weight. No significant differences were found for the primary tumor MFI and TBRs between the weight-based dosing and the fixed dosing groups. MFIs significantly increased when the infusion-to-surgery window was reduced to within 2days (vs. 3days or more, p<0.05).CONCLUSIONS: Antibody-based imaging for surgical resection is under investigation in multiple clinical trials. Our data suggests that a fixed dose of 50mg is an appropriate diagnostic dose for successful surgical fluorescence imaging.
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