Who knew that radioactivity could actually save your life?
Thanks to some very smart people at Neoprobe, a Dublin-based company specializing in the development of diagnostic systems for cancer patients, gamma detection treatments in tracking the spread of cancer are becoming more effective.
Neoprobe is about to begin a third multi-center Phase 3 clinical study of Lymphoseek®, which has received investigational review board approval and begun enrollment of subjects diagnosed with breast cancer or melanoma, says Brent Larson, senior vice president and CFO.
Lymphoseek® is an injectable radiopharmaceutical used by surgeons as a sentinel node targeting agent in intra-operative lymphatic mapping (ILM) procedures for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer and related diseases.
ILM procedures provide useful information to avoid the unnecessary removal of non-cancerous lymph nodes and surrounding tissue. The Lymphoseek® technology enhances the determination of cancer stage and may help improve the complete diagnosis of disease, says Larson.
In an ILM procedure, a radioactive tracing agent is injected at the site of the primary tumor. Following injection, the tracing agent follows the drainage path of the tumor to the nearest lymph node or nodes. A gamma detection device is used to detect the path of the tracing agent. Since the lymph nodes are connected, oncologists believe that if the sentinel nodes show no sign of malignancy, then the downstream nodes in the pathway are likely to be clear of disease.
If approved, Lymphoseek® will be the first tracing agent specifically labeled for lymph node detection.
Neoprobe was founded in 1983 and is considered a leader in gamma detection systems. Earlier this month, Neoprobe initiated the application process for listing on the New York Stock Exchange. The company currently has 35 employees and expects to add as many as 10 new jobs in the next year, says Larson.
Source: Brent Larson, Neoprobe
Writer: Val Prevish