Clinical Impact of Intraoperative Margin Assessment in Breast-Conserving Surgery With a Novel Pegulicianine Fluorescence-Guided System: A Nonrandomized Controlled Trial

The INSITE study team

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9 Scopus citations


Importance: Positive margins following breast-conserving surgery (BCS) are often identified on standard pathology evaluation. Intraoperative assessment of the lumpectomy cavity has the potential to reduce residual disease or reexcision rate following standard of care BCS in real time. Objective: To collect safety and initial efficacy data on the novel pegulicianine fluorescence-guided system (pFGS) when used to identify residual cancer in the tumor bed of female patients undergoing BCS. Design, Setting, and Participants: This prospective single-arm open-label study was conducted as a nonrandomized multicenter controlled trial at 16 academic or community breast centers across the US. Female patients 18 years and older with newly diagnosed primary invasive breast cancer or ductal carcinoma in situ DCIS undergoing BCS were included, excluding those with previous breast cancer surgery and a history of dye allergies. Of 283 consecutive eligible patients recruited, 234 received a pegulicianine injection and were included in the safety analysis; of these, 230 were included in the efficacy analysis. Patients were enrolled between February 6, 2018, and April 10, 2020, and monitored for a 30-day follow-up period. Data were analyzed from April 10, 2020, to August 5, 2021. Interventions: Participants received an injection of a novel imaging agent (pegulicianine) a mean (SD) of 3.2 (0.9) hours prior to surgery at a dose of 1 mg/kg. After completing standard of care (SOC) excision, pFGS was used to scan the lumpectomy cavity to guide the removal of additional shave margins. Main Outcomes and Measures: Adverse events and sensitivity, specificity, and reexcision rate. Results: Of 234 female patients enrolled (median [IQR] age, 62.0 [55.0-69.0] years), 230 completed the trial and 1 patient with a history of allergy to contrast agents had an anaphylactic reaction and recovered without sequelae. Correlation of pFGS with final margin status on a per-margin analysis showed a marked improvement in sensitivity over standard pathology assessment of the main lumpectomy specimen (69.4% vs 38.2%, respectively). On a per-patient level, the false-negative rate of pFGS was 23.7% (9 of 38), and sensitivity was 76.3% (29 of 38). Among 32 patients who underwent excision of pFGS-guided shaves, pFGS averted the need for reexcision in 6 (19%). Conclusions and Relevance: In this pilot feasibility study, the safety profile of pegulicianine was consistent with other imaging agents used in BCS, and was associated with a reduced need for second surgery in patients who underwent intraoperative additional excision of pFGS-guided shaves. These findings support further development and clinical performance assessment of pFGS in a prospective randomized trial. Trial Registration: Identifier: NCT03321929.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)573-580
Number of pages8
JournalJAMA Surgery
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery


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