Tampa, FL -- The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new drug to help detect cancer cells in your lymph nodes. The drug Lymphoseek can be used in both breast cancer and melanoma patients.
While the discovery is a small step in the advancement of care, it's the first new drug for lymph node mapping in more than 30 years. The radioactive tracer travels to the nodes and sticks, helping doctors detect nodes faster and hopefully with less collateral damage for the patient.
Moffitt Cancer Center researchers in Tampa helped test Lymphoseek against the tracer used for more than 20 years as part of national and international studies.
"As we get to study this more, look at it in different situations, understand its best properties, I think we'll find ways we can use it more effectively in certain patients," Moffitt Cancer Center Dr. Vernon Sondak.
Researchers hope to have sharper images with Lymphoseek which will make it easier to spot the cancer.