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J Surg Res. 2013 Jan;179(1):87-93. doi: 10.1016/j.jss.2012.08.052. Epub 2012 Sep 7.

Fluorescence-guided surgery of human colon cancer increases complete resection resulting in cures in an orthotopic nude mouse model.

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Department of Surgery, University of California San Diego, San Diego, CA 92093-0987, USA.



We inquired if fluorescence-guided surgery (FGS) could improve surgical outcomes in fluorescent orthotopic nude mouse models of human colon cancer.


We established fluorescent orthotopic mouse models of human colon cancer expressing a fluorescent protein. Tumors were resected under bright light surgery (BLS) or FGS. Pre- and post-operative images with the OV-100 Small Animal Imaging System (Olympus Corp, Tokyo Japan) were obtained to assess the extent of surgical resection.


All mice with primary tumor that had undergone FGS had complete resection compared with 58% of mice in the BLS group (P = 0.001). FGS resulted in decreased recurrence compared with BLS (33% versus 62%, P = 0.049) and lengthened disease-free median survival from 9 to >36 wk. The median overall survival increased from 16 wk in the BLS group to 31 weeks in the FGS group. FGS resulted in a cure in 67% of mice (alive without evidence of tumor at >6 mo after surgery) compared with only 37% of mice that underwent BLS (P = 0.049).


Surgical outcomes in orthotopic nude mouse models of human colon cancer were significantly improved with FGS. The present study can be translated to the clinic by various effective methods of fluorescently labeling tumors.

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