Background: Indocyanine green (ICG) is a widely available dye of clinical importance that has been used for more than 50 years. Near-infrared (NIR) ICG fluorescence imaging has found a niche in cancer care since 2005, and was reviewed in 2011. There is a need for a comprehensive update and we aim to provide this through a review of the most recent literature. Methods: A systematic review of the literature using PubMed, EMBASE, and MEDLINE databases of articles published from 2000 to June 2015 evaluated topics pertinent to NIR fluorescence imaging with ICG in the diagnosis and surgical treatment of cancer. Articles previously referenced in a 2011 review and a 2015 meta-analysis were excluded, while articles that referenced future directions and economics were included in this current review. Results: Since 2011, the literature has grown exponentially, with significant advances at the molecular level. Significant findings from 89 select articles and 10 reviews, most of which were published between 2011 and 2015, are summarized. Preclinical studies are currently underway investigating tumor-specific fluorescence and targeted therapeutic delivery. The potential for ICG exists at every level of cancer care, from diagnosis to surveillance. Conclusion: The indications, applications, and potential for ICG have grown exponentially in the past decade; an updated review of the literature is overdue and we present the most comprehensive review to date.
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