Fluoptics, an emerging company with technology deriving from CEA-Leti, has recently completed its second round for 2 million euros. The company aims to market its fluorescence imaging technology that is set to revolutionise cancer surgery.
So how does this novel technology work?
Cancer management has evolved to place great focus on biomedical imaging techniques. Clinical protocols involve imaging of tissue to indicate morphological and structural status of tissue, which also helps in clinical decision-making.
Targeted imaging technology is becoming increasingly more pronounced in clinical use and Fluoptics have taken this platform to a new level by combining a fluorescent probe with real-time optical imaging to offer acute intraoperative visual data.
The process involves the injection of a fluorescence probe that concentrates in the tumour followed by the emission of an infrared signal. Fluoptics have three particular types of infrared probes. The AngioStampTM is a fluorescence probe that targets the avβ3 integrin protein known to play an important role in the angiogenesis and metastasis of tumour cells.
This NIR probe is designed to function at wavelengths of 700nm/800nm and works in tandem with Fluoptics’ FluobeamTM hand-held imaging system. At the nanomolar level, this technology becomes sensitive enough to identify gene expression and receptors in tumour cells.
Fluoptics have two additional NIR probes: the SentiDyeTM (which improves the optical properties of the near NIR), and the AngioLoneTM (designed to have the target sequence of AngioStampTM probe that targets the avβ3 integrin protein).
By using these probes that are within the near infrared range, it becomes possible to identify regions of angiogenesis in tumours due to absorption of infrared light by haemoglobin, making this technology a window of opportunity for the future role of imaging in the management of cancer.
Fluoptics has already led the first clinical trial with the use of its AngioStampTM probe for cancer treatment with the aim of guiding surgeons to identify a tumour that is not located by the human eye.
Future imaging systems will place focus on pre-symptomatic and minimally-invasive therapy with early diagnosis being key. In comparison to high-frequency electromagnetic radiation that is ionizing and can increase the risk of cancer, near infrared imaging becomes a safer option for targeted cancer therapy.
- Haubner R, et al. Noninvasive visualization of the activated avβ3 integrin in cancer patients by positron emission tomography and [18F] Galacto-RGD. PLOS Medicine. 2005;2(3):0244-0252.
- Fass L. Imaging and Cancer. A review. Molecular Oncology. 2008:115-152.
- Fluoptics – Near Infrared Probes