Objective: Complete surgical resection is the standard of care for treatment of oral cancer although the positive margin rate remains 15-30%. Tissue sampling from the resected specimen and from the wound bed for frozen section analysis (FSA) remains the mainstay for intraoperative margin assessment but is subject to sampling error and can require the processing of multiple samples. We sought to understand if an ex vivo imaging strategy using a tumor-targeted fluorescently labeled antibody could accurately identify the closest peripheral margin on the mucosal surface of resected tumor specimen, so that this "sentinel margin" could be used to guide pathological sampling. Materials and Methods: Twenty-nine patients with oral squamous cell carcinoma scheduled for surgical resection were consented for the study and received systemic administration of a tumor-targeted fluorescently labeled antibody (Panitumumab IRDye800CW). After surgical resection, the tumor specimen was imaged using a closed-field fluorescent imaging device. Relevant pathological data was available for five patients on retrospective review. For each of these five patients, two regions of highest fluorescence intensity at the peripheral margin and one region of lowest fluorescence intensity were identified, and results were correlated with histology to determine if the region of highest fluorescence intensity along the mucosal margin (i.e., the sentinel margin) was truly the closest margin. Results: Imaging acquisition of the mucosal surface of the specimen immediately after surgery took 30 s. In all of the specimens, the region of highest fluorescence at the specimen edge had a significantly smaller margin distance than other sampled regions. The average margin distance at the closest, "sentinel," margin was 3.2 mm compared to a margin distance of 8.0 mm at other regions (p < 0.0001). Conclusions: This proof-of-concept study suggests that, when combined with routine FSA, ex vivo fluorescent specimen imaging can be used to identify the closest surgical margin on the specimen. This approach may reduce sampling error of intraoperative evaluation, which should ultimately improve the ability of the surgeon to identify the sentinel margin. This rapid sentinel margin identification improves the surgeon's orientation to areas most likely to be positive in the surgical wound bed and may expedite pathology workflow.
View details for DOI 10.3389/fonc.2019.01476
View details for PubMedID 31998640
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC6965069