The optimal imaging window for dysplastic colorectal polyp detection using c-Met targeted fluorescence molecular endoscopy.

de Jongh SJ, Vrouwe JPM, Voskuil FJ, Schmidt I, Westerhof J, Koornstra JJ, de Kam ML, Karrenbeld A, Hardwick JCH, Robinson DJ, Burggraaf J, Kamerling IMC, Nagengast WB

Fluorescence molecular endoscopy (FME) is an emerging technique that has the potential to improve the 22% colorectal polyp detection miss-rate. We determined the optimal dose-to-imaging interval and safety of FME using EMI-137, a c-Met targeted fluorescent peptide, in a population at high-risk for colorectal cancer. We performed in vivo FME and quantification of fluorescence by multi-diameter single-fiber reflectance, single-fiber fluorescence spectroscopy in 15 patients with a dysplastic colorectal adenoma. EMI-137 was intravenously administered (0.13mg/kg) at a one-, two- or three-hour dose-to-imaging interval ( = 3 patients per cohort). Two cohorts were expanded to six patients based on target-to-background ratios (TBR). Fluorescence was correlated to histopathology and c-Met expression. EMI-137 binding specificity was assessed by fluorescence microscopy and in vitro experiments. FME using EMI-137 appeared to be safe and well tolerated. All dose-to-imaging intervals showed significantly increased fluorescence in the colorectal lesions compared to surrounding tissue, with a TBR of 1.53, 1.66 and 1.74 respectively (mean intrinsic fluorescence (Q·μ) = 0.035 vs. 0.023mm, P<0.0003; 0.034 vs. 0.021mm, P<0.0001; 0.033 vs. 0.019mm, P<0.0001). Fluorescence correlated to histopathology on a macroscopic and microscopic level, with significant c-Met overexpression in dysplastic mucosa. In vitro, a dose-dependent specific binding was confirmed. FME using EMI-137 appeared to be safe and feasible within a one-to-three hour dose-to-imaging interval. No clinically significant differences were observed between the cohorts, although a one-hour dose-to-imaging interval was preferred from a clinical perspective. Future studies will investigate EMI-137 for improved colorectal polyp detection during screening colonoscopies.