Diagnostic performance of receptor-specific surgical specimen staining correlates with receptor expression level

Jasmin M. Schaefer, Connor W. Barth, Scott C. Davis, Summer L. Gibbs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Intraoperative margin assessment is imperative to cancer cure but is a continued challenge to successful surgery. Breast conserving surgery is a relevant example, where a cosmetically improved outcome is gained over mastectomy, but re-excision is required in >25 % of cases due to positive or closely involved margins. Clinical translation of margin assessment modalities that must directly contact the patient or required administered contrast agents are time consuming and costly to move from bench to bedside. Tumor resections provide a unique surgical opportunity to deploy margin assessment technologies including contrast agents on the resected tissues, substantially shortening the path to the clinic. However, staining of resected tissues is plagued by nonspecific uptake. A ratiometric imaging approach where matched targeted and untargeted probes are used for staining has demonstrated substantially improved biomarker quantification over staining with conventional targeted contrast agents alone. Our group has developed an antibody-based ratiometric imaging technology using fluorescently labeled, spectrally distinct targeted and untargeted antibody probes termed dual-stain difference specimen imaging (DDSI). Herein, the targeted biomarker expression level and pattern are evaluated for their effects on DDSI diagnostic potential. Epidermal growth factor receptor expression level was correlated to DDSI diagnostic potential, which was found to be robust to spatial pattern expression variation. These results highlight the utility of DDSI for accurate margin assessment of freshly resected tumor specimens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number026002
JournalJournal of biomedical optics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2019


  • breast conserving surgery
  • dual-stain difference specimen imaging
  • image-guided surgery
  • paired agent imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomedical Engineering


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