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EJNMMI Res. 2019 Nov 21;9(1):98. doi: 10.1186/s13550-019-0564-z.

Multimodal image-guided surgery of HER2-positive breast cancer using [111In]In-DTPA-trastuzumab-IRDye800CW in an orthotopic breast tumor model.

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Department of Surgery, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands.
Department of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
Department of Surgery, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands.
Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Toxicology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands.



Combining modalities using dual-labeled antibodies may allow preoperative and intraoperative tumor localization and could be used in image-guided surgery to improve complete tumor resection. Trastuzumab is a monoclonal antibody against the human epidermal growth factor-2 (HER2) receptor and dual-labeled trastuzumab with both a fluorophore (IRDye800CW) and a radioactive label (111In) can be used for multimodal imaging of HER2-positive breast cancer. The aim of this study was to demonstrate the feasibility of HER2-targeted multimodal imaging using [111In]In-DTPA-trastuzumab-IRDye800CW in an orthotopic breast cancer model.


Trastuzumab was conjugated with p-isothiocyanatobenzyl (ITC)-diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid (DTPA) and IRDye800CW-NHS ester and subsequently labeled with 111In. In a dose escalation study, the biodistribution of 10, 30, and 100 μg [111In]In-DTPA-trastuzumab-IRDye800CW was determined 48 h after injection in BALB/c nude mice with orthotopic high HER2-expressing tumors. Also, a biodistribution study was performed in a low HER2-expressing breast cancer model. In addition, multimodal image-guided surgery was performed in each group. Autoradiography, fluorescence microscopy, and immunohistochemically stained slices of the tumors were compared for co-localization of tumor tissue, HER2 expression, fluorescence, and radiosignal.


Based on the biodistribution data, a 30 μg dose of dual-labeled trastuzumab (tumor-to-blood ratio 13 ± 2) was chosen for all subsequent studies. [111In]In-DTPA-trastuzumab-IRDye800CW specifically accumulated in orthotopic HER2-positive BT474 tumors (101 ± 7 %IA/g), whereas uptake in orthotopic low HER2-expressing MCF7 tumor was significantly lower (1.2 ± 0.2 %IA/g, p = 0.007). BT474 tumors could clearly be visualized with both micro-SPECT/CT, fluorescence imaging and subsequently, image-guided resection was performed. Immunohistochemical analyses of BT474 tumors demonstrated correspondence in fluorescence, radiosignal, and high HER2 expression.


Dual-labeled trastuzumab showed specific accumulation in orthotopic HER2-positive BT474 breast tumors with micro-SPECT/CT and fluorescence imaging and enabled image-guided tumor resection. In the clinical setting, [111In]In-DTPA-trastuzumab-IRDye800CW could be valuable for preoperative detection of (metastatic) tumors by SPECT/CT imaging, and intraoperative localization by using a gamma probe and fluorescence image-guided surgery to improve radical resection of tumor tissue in patients with HER2-positive tumors.


Fluorescence; HER2-positive breast cancer; Image-guided surgery; Multimodal imaging; [111In]In-DTPA-trastuzumab-IRDye800CW

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