Cytalux (pafolaciince), a drug that binds to ovarian cancer tissue and glows when exposed to fluorescent light, has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to help detect ovarian tumors during surgical procedures in patients. Has been approved to help surgeons.

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A Purdue University spokesman told Granthshala News that the drug was invented by Philip Low, a Purdue University Presidential Scholar for Drug Discovery. Low described in a press release That when a surgeon turns on near-infrared light during surgery, “those wounds glow like stars in the night sky.”

Low told Granthshala News, “While many surgeries result in complete removal of all cancerous tissue, unfortunately a large fraction leave behind suppressed or hidden tumor tissue, often resulting in cancer recurrence.” and sometimes even death.”


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He continued: “To help prevent later consequences, we have designed a cancer-targeting fluorescent dye that specifically houses cancer cells that express the folate receptor and is treated with near-infrared light. On illumination causes them to fluorescently glow.”

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Low explained that cancer cells need folate, a B vitamin, to divide rapidly, so he invented the drug that tagged the folate compound with a fluorescent dye. The drug is administered intravenously to the patient before surgery.

“Cancer cells have a very high appetite for this vitamin, and we took advantage of their greed for folic acid by adding a fluorescent dye to it,” Lo said in the release.

Lo told Granthshala News that when the lights are on, surgeons can spot and locate malignant lesions that they may have otherwise overlooked during surgery.

A spokesman for the University of Pennsylvania Health System told Granthshala News that while Purdue’s Phil Low synthesized the drug, researchers from the school were the principal investigators for Phases 1, 2 and 3 of the trials and found promising results. According to the spokesperson, Dr. Sunil Singhal led one of the largest clinical trial sites in the country for Cytolux, along with colleagues from the Center for Precision Surgery at the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania, in partnership with On Target Laboratories .

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Singhal, director of the Center for Precision Surgery at Abramson Cancer Center, said, “By using a fluorescent dye that binds to cancer cells, making them glow during surgery, surgeons can identify and diagnose a patient’s tumor as quickly as possible.” can improve.” at the University of Pennsylvania said in the release,

In a randomized, multi-centre phase 3 study, 134 adult women who were administered Citalex intravenously prior to surgery were evaluated under both fluorescent and normal lighting. Of the group, 27% had at least one cancerous lesion that was not detected by standard inspection through sight or touch during surgery, the release said.

University researchers said this new technique provides surgeons with a guide that goes beyond what is visible to the naked eye or by touch, especially when the lesions are small, according to the release. He also said it would help surgeons remove cancerous tissue more accurately while removing healthy tissue. The newly approved dye also helps detect cancerous lymph nodes.

“Lightening cancer, which helps to identify lesions that may be difficult to locate – particularly in the presence of scar tissue or other organ damage – enables more complete detection and surgical removal of cancer that may be could have been missed otherwise,” Janos L. Tani, principal investigator of the University of Pennsylvania clinical trial site for the Phase 2 and Phase 3 studies.

Tani, who is also an associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the university, also said that this new FDA approval will offer promise for better outcomes in patients with ovarian cancer who recur after initial treatment. face high risk of ,

Scientists prepare samples of proteins for analysis in a laboratory at the Cancer Research Institute in Sutton.

The investigators said in the release that only 20% of ovarian cancers are detected early because it is either asymptomatic or the symptoms mimic common gastrointestinal, bladder or bowel issues. According to the report, by the time most women receive their diagnosis, investigators said the disease has progressed, and most patients require surgery to remove the tumor along with chemotherapy.

Cytalax is the first tumor-targeting fluorescent agent for ovarian cancer approved by the FDA.

On Target Laboratories will release the drug under the brand name Cytalax.