New nuclear and fluorescence imaging agent to guide cancer surgery
8 January 2015
Grenoble-based CEA-Leti and cancer research cluster CLARA have
developed a new fluorescence-imaging agent that could significantly
increase surgeons’ accuracy when removing cancerous tumours.
LipImage 815 was developed in the NanoENO project, which focused
on producing a nano-scale contrast agent in the near infrared range
for the resection of soft-tissue sarcomas, guided by imaging.
This imaging agent is based on encapsulation of a fluorophore in
Lipidots. Lipidots, Leti’s patented lipid nanovectors, are versatile
nano-delivery platforms based on microscopic droplets of oil for
encapsulating and carrying drugs or fluorescent imaging agents to
targeted cells in the body for treatment or diagnosis.
The NanoENO project was coordinated by Leti and facilitated by
the cancer-research cluster, Cancéropôle Lyon Auvergne Rhône-Alpes
(CLARA), which fosters high-potential partnerships between academic,
clinical and industrial organizations and companies from the
Rhône-Alpes and Auvergne regions under its Proof-of-Concept program
and industrial transfers.
During the project, preclinical validations were made on nine
cases of resection of spontaneous soft-tissue sarcomas in
pet-owners’ dogs, guided by fluorescence imaging after clinical
scanner diagnosis. The clinical use confirmed the fluorescence of
soft-tissue sarcomas, and helped surgeons visualize the tumoral
extension to reach adequate surgical margins.
The project included the nuclear medicine department at the
Hospital d'Orsay, the Veterinary School of Lyon (VetAgro Sup) and
Advanced Accelerator Applications (AAA), a European pharmaceutical
group spun out of CERN, in Geneva, Switzerland, in 2002 to develop
innovative diagnostic and therapeutic products.
Combined nuclear and fluorescence imaging
The contrast agent, developed in the NanoENO project, can be
upgraded by grafting radio elements onto its surfaces to combine
nuclear imaging for diagnostic purposes with intraoperative
fluorescence imaging, into a single bimodal contrast agent.
“The NanoENO team clearly demonstrated that LipImage 815 is a
very promising fluorescence-imaging agent for improving both
diagnosis of disease and guiding surgeons during tumor removal,”
said Patrick Boisseau, head of Leti’s nanomedicine program and
chairman of the European Technology Platform – Nanomedicine (ETPN).
“This surgical application also shows the versatility of Leti’s
Lipidots technology, which is already being adapted for medical
diagnosis and cosmetics purposes by Leti partners.”
“For nearly 11 years, Cancéropôle CLARA has actively supported
leading-edge clinical oncology research that capitalizes on the
regions’ rich technological and medical expertise, and we have
fostered transfer of the results to industry through our system of
public-private partnerships,” said Dr. Amaury Martin, secretary
general of CLARA. “The NanoENO project success strongly validates
the mission of CLARA’s Proof of Concept program.”
The €700,000 project included funding from FEDER Rhône-Alpes and
Région Rhône-Alpes, the European Fund for Economic and Regional
Development and Advanced Accelerator Applications (AAA).