Primary treatment for melanoma remains surgical excision with negative margins. Unfortunately, melanoma margins cannot be visualized or palpated;as a result surgeons obtain wide margins of healthy appearing tissue based on tumor histology and depth of penetration. Failure to improve surgical cures contributes to a failure to improve survival in this disease while most other cancer types have shown dramatically improved survival over the same time period. Improving melanoma survival depends on improving the primary treatment modality. We propose to determine if FDA approved antibodies to commonly expressed melanoma antigens can be leveraged for imaging of microscopic margins and regional disease. We propose to identify the optimal antibody (or combinations) for imaging, the sensitivity and specificity of this technique and the mechanisms by which it promotes fluorescence in the tumor. Using this strategy, histological margins can be selectively obtained and normal tissues spared. If successful such a technique would dramatically impact how surgical resections are performed.
Although primary treatment for melanoma remains surgical excision with negative margins, tumor margins are very difficult to determine on inspection or on frozen section. We propose to determine if FDA approved antibodies to commonly expressed melanoma antigens can be leveraged for intraoperative imaging of primary tumors, microscopic margins and regional disease. If successful such a technique would dramatically change how oncological surgery is performed.
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