The gist: Oncologists sometimes remove lymph nodes near a patient’s tumor. If the cancer is spreading, these so-called sentinel lymph nodes are likely to contain cancer cells. Therefore, it is important that oncologists be able to accurately detect sentinel lymph nodes so they can be removed and analyzed. A new system for sentinel lymph node detection has now been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for all solid-tumor cancers, including breast cancer and melanoma. The system is called Lymphoseek.
“Approval of the Lymphoseek system for detecting sentinel lymph nodes has been extended to cover all solid-tumor cancers, its manufacturer said Wednesday.
“The FDA is also permitting the radiolabeled tracer system to also now be used with or without lymphoscintigraphy, according to Navidea Biopharmaceuticals.
“The product uses a technetium-99 labeled tracer to identify lymph nodes serving areas near primary tumors, allowing oncologists to select for excision and analysis those nodes most likely to harbor emigrating cancer cells. The tracer is called tilmanocept, and it binds to CD206 receptors in lymph nodes.”