FDA approves imaging drug for ovarian cancer lesions

The FDA on Nov. 29 approved an imaging drug meant to help surgeons better identify ovarian cancerous tissue when operating. 

Pafolacianine, which goes by the brand name Cytalux, is intended for use in adult patients with ovarian cancer to help surgeons identify additional cancerous lesions that are typically difficult to detect during surgery. Prior to surgery, the drug is administered via an intravenous injection and binds to folate receptors — a protein in cell membranes that ovarian cancer causes the body to overproduce — and illuminates cancerous tissue. 

"The FDA's approval of Cytalux can help enhance the ability of surgeons to identify deadly ovarian tumors that may otherwise go undetected," said Alex Gorovets, MD, deputy director of the office of specialty medicine in the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. "By supplementing current methods of detecting ovarian cancer during surgery, Cytalux offers healthcare professionals an additional imaging approach for patients with ovarian cancer."

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