The main focus of the Optical Molecular Imaging Groningen research group and the research-line Molecular Fluorescence Image Guided Surgery and Pathology of prof. dr. Go van Dam, surgeon oncologist and gastrointestinal surgeon, is translational bio-optical imaging and therapy in cancer and infectious diseases, i.e. image-guided surgery and pathology, laparoscopy, and  the near future also robotics, for the detection of tumor cells and locoregional metastases including so-called photo-immunotherapy and bacterial detection in lung or implant infections.

Clinical Impact

Bio-optical imaging may provide the surgeon with light-beacons for radical excision of tumor tissue and in case of irradical resection a tool for guidance for intraoperative radiotherapy or targeted therapeutic modalities like targeted radiotherapy and photodynamic therapy. Translational research in bio-optical imaging relates to various fields of medicine and in particular surgery, pathology, medical imaging and endoscopy in solid tumors.

Available imaging techniques in UMCG

For preclinical applications animal models, fluorescent probes and all imaging instrumentation (i.e. PET, SPECT, MRI, confocal laser endomicroscopy and optical systems) is available at the UMCG. Moreover, emphasis is aimed at in-house GMP synthesis of fluorescent tracers or bi-modal tracers (i.e. PET/optical, MRI/optical), with different characteristics such as antibody-based, nanobody-based, small-peptides, smart-activatable probes etc. Clinical camera prototypes for intraoperative imaging have been developed, tested and approved by the Investigational Research Board within the consortium UMCG/TUM (Technical University of Munich, prof Ntziachristos). Recently by a strategic partnership with a spin-off company into platform technology development, evaluation and certification for image-guided surgery, pathology and endoscopy.

About prof. dr. Gooitzen (Go) van Dam

Prof. dr. Go van Dam has published over more than 110 peer reviewed papers and his research on translational optical imaging expanding towards theranostics in the field of oncology, endocrinology, infectious diseases and inflammation and cardiovascular diseases.