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New technique may help detect potential breast cancer spread
Date:5/8/2009

the molecule's ability to detect nearby sentinel lymph nodes to that of the standard method using blue dye and a radioactive tracer substance.

In the trial, the Moores Cancer Center team, which also examined the technique separately in melanoma patients, looked at 46 early stage breast cancer patients. Each patient received Lymphoseek, and a short time later, blue dye which can also be detected and imaged as it enters the lymph nodes.

The surgeons removed the detected lymph nodes, which were subsequently sent to pathologists to determine whether cancer was present. The researchers found that more than 98 percent of sentinel lymph nodes containing blue dye also had Lymphoseek. Twenty-eight percent of the lymph nodes were positive for cancer, 100 percent of which were detected by Lymphoseek.

"The advantage in Lymphoseek is that we now have an agent that is tested and designed specifically for detection of sentinel lymph nodes," Wallace said, noting that blue dye is not specific for this use, lasts a shorter time in the body and may not always go to only sentinel nodes. "Lymphoseek is easier to use, takes less time to find lymph nodes and is cleared faster from the body. This could standardize the process of lymph node mapping and make the process easier, particularly for less experienced surgeons."

According to Wallace, these results could lead to other research on receptor binding imaging for different types of cancers, and propel the field of imaging cancer based on molecular profiling.


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Contact: Steve Benowitz
sbenowitz@ucsd.edu
619-543-6163
University of California - San Diego
Source:Eurekalert

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