Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Technique May Help Detect Potential Breast Cancer Spread

Date:
May 9, 2009
Source:
University of California - San Diego
Summary:
A new phase III clinical trial of early stage breast cancer patients has shown that a molecule designed to home in on nearby lymph nodes is just as accurate as current techniques, but faster, more specific and easier to use.

A new phase III clinical trial of early stage breast cancer patients has shown that a molecule designed to home in on nearby lymph nodes is just as accurate as current techniques, but faster, more specific and easier to use.

"These results will really enable molecular biology to enter the operating room for lymph node detection," said breast surgeon Anne Wallace, MD, professor of clinical surgery at the UC San Diego School of Medicine and the Moores UCSD Cancer Center, and one of the study leaders. Wallace described her team's results May 7, 2009 at the 3rd International Symposium on Cancer Metastasis and the Lymphovascular System in San Francisco.

When a woman has breast cancer, doctors want to be sure that the disease has not spread to her lymph nodes, the first place a cancer may go. The lymphatic system is a network of vessels, ducts and glands that usually carry disease-fighting cells throughout the body, but also can act as a conduit for cancer cells to access the bloodstream.

According to Wallace, the presence or absence of cancer in lymph nodes is an important predictor of breast cancer prognosis, and as a result, the appropriate treatment. But finding the right lymph nodes to test and a standardized method of doing so hasn't been easy.

Wallace and David Vera, PhD, professor of radiology at the UC San Diego School of Medicine, were instrumental in the early development and testing of the molecule, called Lymphoseek®, a radiopharmaceutical that binds to the receptor on lymph node white blood cells called macrophages. The radioactive portion of the molecule essentially lights up, enabling detection of such nearby "sentinel nodes" that are the most likely candidates to biopsy for possible cancer.

The trial, led by research teams at the Moores UCSD Cancer Center, the Moffit Cancer Center in Tampa, FL and other centers, along with the Dublin, OH-based Neoprobe Corporation, which developed Lymphoseek, compared 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.

Wallace received early funding support from Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the American Cancer Society and the National Institutes of Health.

Karl Limmer, MD, UC San Diego, is study co-author.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - San Diego. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of California - San Diego. "New Technique May Help Detect Potential Breast Cancer Spread." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 May 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090508103840.htm>.
University of California - San Diego. (2009, May 9). New Technique May Help Detect Potential Breast Cancer Spread. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090508103840.htm
University of California - San Diego. "New Technique May Help Detect Potential Breast Cancer Spread." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090508103840.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) — West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

AP (July 28, 2014) — A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Reuters - US Online Video (July 28, 2014) — Two American aid workers in Liberia test positive for Ebola while working to combat the deadliest outbreak of the virus ever. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) — Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins