In-vivo fluorescence detection of breast cancer growth factor receptors by fiber-optic probe

Gilbert Bustamante, Bingzhi Wang, Frank Deluna, Luzhe Sun, Jing Yong Ye

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Breast cancer treatment options often include medications that target the overexpression of growth factor receptors, such as the proto-oncogene human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2/neu) and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) to suppress the abnormal growth of cancerous cells and induce cancer regression. Although effective, certain treatments are toxic to vital organs, and demand assurance that the pursued receptor is present at the tumor before administration of the drug. This requires diagnostic tools to provide tumor molecular signatures, as well as locational information. In this study, we utilized a fiber-optic probe to characterize in vivo HER2 and EGFR overexpressed tumors through the fluorescence of targeted dyes. HER2 and EGFR antibodies were conjugated with ICG-Sulfo-OSu and Alexa Fluor 680, respectively, to tag BT474 (HER2+) and MDA-MB-468 (EGFR+) tumors. The fiber was inserted into the samples via a 30-gauge needle. Different wavelengths of a supercontinuum laser were selected to couple into the fiber and excite the corresponding fluorophores in the samples. The fluorescence from the dyes was collected through the same fiber and quantified by a time-correlated single photon counter. Fluorescence at different antibody-dye concentrations was measured for calibration. Mice with subcutaneous HER2+ and/or EGFR+ tumors received intravenous injections of the conjugates and were later probed at the tumor sites. The measured fluorescence was used to distinguish between tumor types and to calculate the concentration of the antibody-dye conjugates, which were detectable at levels as low as 40 nM. The fiber-optic probe presents a minimally invasive instrument to characterize the molecular signatures of breast cancer in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationOptical Biopsy XVI
Subtitle of host publicationToward Real-Time Spectroscopic Imaging and Diagnosis
EditorsRobert R. Alfano, Stavros G. Demos
ISBN (Electronic)9781510614635
StatePublished - 2018
EventOptical Biopsy XVI: Toward Real-Time Spectroscopic Imaging and Diagnosis 2018 - San Francisco, United States
Duration: Jan 30 2018Jan 31 2018

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


OtherOptical Biopsy XVI: Toward Real-Time Spectroscopic Imaging and Diagnosis 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco


  • Breast cancer
  • EGFR
  • Fiber-optic probe
  • Fluorescence
  • HER2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Biomaterials


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