Clinically relevant dual probe difference specimen imaging (DDSI) protocol for freshly resected breast cancer specimen staining

Broderick J. House, Marcus J. Kwon, Jasmin M. Schaefer, Connor W. Barth, Allison Solanki, Scott C. Davis, Summer L. Gibbs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Re-excision rates following breast conserving surgery (BCS) remain as high as ~ 35%, with positive margins detected during follow-up histopathology. Additional breast cancer resection surgery is not only taxing on the patient and health care system, but also delays adjuvant therapies, increasing morbidity and reducing the likelihood of a positive outcome. The ability to precisely resect and visualize tumor margins in real time within the surgical theater would greatly benefit patients, surgeons and the health care system. Current tumor margin assessment technologies utilized during BCS involve relatively lengthy and labor-intensive protocols, which impede the surgical work flow. Methods: In previous work, we have developed and validated a fluorescence imaging method termed dual probe difference specimen imaging (DDSI) to accurately detect benign and malignant tissue with direct correlation to the targeted biomarker expression levels intraoperatively. The DDSI method is currently on par with touch prep cytology in execution time (~ 15-min). In this study, the main goal was to shorten the DDSI protocol by decreasing tissue blocking and washing times to optimize the DDSI protocol to < 10-min whilst maintaining robust benign and malignant tissue differentiation. Results: We evaluated the utility of the shortened DDSI staining methodology using xenografts grown from cell lines with varied epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) expression levels, comparing accuracy through receiver operator characteristic (ROC) curve analyses across varied tissue blocking and washing times. An optimized 8-min DDSI methodology was developed for future clinical translation. Conclusions: Successful completion of this work resulted in substantial shortening of the DDSI methodology for use in the operating room, that provided robust, highly receptor specific, sensitive diagnostic capabilities between benign and malignant tissues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number440
JournalBMC cancer
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • Breast conserving surgery
  • Dual probe difference specimen imaging
  • Fluorescence guided surgery
  • Paired agent imaging
  • Tumor margin assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Genetics
  • Cancer Research


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