CD44v6-Targeted Fluorescent Agent in the Detection of Non-Muscle Invasive Bladder Cancer

By Patrick Daly - Last Updated: February 23, 2022

According to Wenting Shang and colleagues, some bladder cancer tumors are difficult to capture with the standard of cystoscopy under white light imaging, leading to overlooked tumors and high recurrence rates. They conducted a study on the use of their previously developed, phage display-derived peptide-based near-infrared imaging probe, PLSWT7-DMI, for the endoscopic detection of bladder cancer, and reported it to be a “safe and effective approach for the improved detection of bladder cancer, and may enable thorough resection to prevent recurrence.”

The trial enrolled 22 patients diagnosed with suspected non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (NIMBC). The authors added that “the purity, efficacy, safety, and nontoxicity of PLSWT7-DMI were confirmed prior to its clinical application.” After intravesical administration of the probe, the mucosa was imaged with an in-house endoscope that could swap between white and near-infrared modes. Lastly, lesions observed under near-infrared light were biopsied and examined.

According to the report, the investigators observed a 5.1-fold increase in the fluorescence intensity in tumor tissue samples compared to normal tissue samples. They also calculated that the probe had a sensitivity of 91.2% and a specificity of 90%. Notably, “common diagnostic challenges, such as small satellite tumors, carcinoma in situ, and benign suspicious mucosa, were visualized and could be distinguished from cancer.”

Including that no adverse effects were observed during the study in their closing discussion, Shang and collaborators advanced that their bladder cancer cell-binding probe, PLSWT7-DMI, was safe and effective, and had the potential to improve tumor resection.