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Posted: Mar 16, 2011

Injectable tracer for diagnosing and operating on tumors

(Nanowerk News) CEA-Leti announced today that it and four French partners are developing an injectable tracer that can provide both nuclear imaging in the pre-operative evaluation of tumors and optical imaging during ablation or biopsy.
The three-year Nano-ENO project is developing a specific tracer using a patented organic nano-carrier (Lipidot®). To improve its targeting capacities, a peptide molecule that recognizes certain types of cancer will also be grafted to the Lipidots.
In addition to CEA-Leti, the Nano-ENO project partners are:
  • A team from the Frédéric Joliot Hospital in Orsay
  • AAA, based in Saint-Genis-Pouilly, and specializing in radiopharmaceutical products
  • Fluoptics, a CEA-Leti startup based in Grenoble and specializing in fluorescence-imaging systems, and
  • VetAgro Sup, based in Marcy-l'Etoile, will oversee the pre-clinical studies on large- animal model (spontaneous tumors in dogs)
  • When treating cancer, medical professionals often look to several diagnostic tools and surgical aids, including positron emission tomography (PET) scan and fluorescence imaging. A PET scan is a nuclear-imaging procedure that allows doctors to measure the metabolic activity of an organ by injecting a radiotracer and then analyzing the gamma rays that are emitted as the tracer disintegrates.
    Fluorescence imaging is a relatively new technology that combines the use of a florescent tracer with near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). The resulting real-time images help surgeons obtain cleaner margins during surgery and therefore reduce the risk of recurrence.
    The nuclear markers used in a PET scan help provide high-resolution images, while optical contrast agents facilitate the identification of tumor cells in real-time. Combining these imaging technologies makes it possible to confirm that the tumors being operated on correspond to the tumors identified in the pre-operative studies. It also allows for a more thorough procedure to be performed with reduced overall surgical time; not only can the surgeon work more quickly and with greater precision, but the entire operation is streamlined, allowing for a more efficient use of operating rooms and surgical staff.
    This project will receive support from the Cancéropôle Lyon Auvergne Rhône Alpes (CLARA) "Preuve de Concept" (Proof of Concept) initiative for three years.
    Source: CEA-Leti
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