MRI Iron Oxide Imaging for Lymph Node Staging in Esophageal Cancer

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute logo

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Status and phase

Phase 1


Esophageal Cancer


Drug: Ferumoxytol
Device: MRI 3T scanner

Study type


Funder types




Details and patient eligibility


This research study is evaluating a new imaging method using MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) to evaluate lymph nodes for evidence of tumor spread from esophageal cancer. This MRI study involves an intravenous contrast called Ferumoxytol (FerahemeTM).

Full description

This research study is a Pilot clinical trial, which is the first time investigators are examining this study intervention. This study tests the safety of the investigational intervention (MRI imaging with Ferumoxytol) and assesses the feasibility of identifying malignant lymph nodes (lymph nodes that have tumor in them) by comparing the experimental MRI findings with the final pathology report from surgery. This iron-based agent currently has approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in iron replacement therapy, however, its use in MRI imaging is not FDA-approved and is thus experimental in this trial.




18+ years old


No Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion criteria

  • Participants may have histologically confirmed esophageal cancer or lesion suspicious for esophageal cancer which is deemed surgically resectable.
  • Patients eligible for the trial may have previously completed neoadjuvant chemoradiation per standard protocols prior to MRI imaging, without any limitations on dose, duration or type of prior treatment as this is not the focus of the current study.
  • Eligible patients must be 18 years or older in order to consent for this trial. Individuals under the age of 18 are excluded because safety studies including dosing or adverse event data in this population are currently not available.
  • Ability to understand and the willingness to sign a written informed consent document.

Exclusion criteria

  • Patients with known allergies or hypersensitivity reactions to parenteral iron, parenteral dextran, parenteral iron-dextran, or parenteral iron-polysaccharides
  • Individuals who are pregnant or lactating. As part of their routine preoperative testing, all women of child bearing age receive a pregnancy test. The research staff will follow up on these results in order to determine eligibility. Women who have had a hysterectomy or have not had menses for > 24 months will not be required to undergo a pregnancy test. Pregnant women are excluded from this study because there is unknown risk associated with Ferumoxytol (US FDA Risk Category C: there are no controlled studies in women, or no studies are available in either animals or women). Because there is an unknown but potential risk of adverse events in nursing infants secondary to treatment of the mother, breastfeeding women will be excluded from this study
  • Iron saturation above the upper limit of normal
  • Individuals with known clinical conditions that may lead to iron overload including hemochromatosis, cirrhosis, or sickle cell disease
  • Individuals with a contraindication to MRI, such as the presence of metallic prostheses or implanted metal device (e.g. infusion pump, defibrillator)

Trial design

Primary purpose




Interventional model

Single Group Assignment


None (Open label)

0 participants in 1 patient group

Ferumoxtyol (Feraheme) with MRI
Experimental group
Patients will undergo a pre-contrast MRI followed by a pre determined dose of of IV Ferumoxyto. Post-contrast MRI imaging will be performed immediately following Ferumoxytol infusion and 48 hours after Ferumoxytol administration with subsequent image analysis.
Device: MRI 3T scanner
Drug: Ferumoxytol

Trial contacts and locations



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