Only 20% of ovarian cancers are detected early, mostly because there are seldom symptoms that don’t mimic common bladder, bowel or gastrointestinal issues. However, a recent Penn Today article noted the FDA approval of Cytalux, an imaging drug for ovarian cancer that aims to improve early detection, and therefore survival rates.
Once inside the body, the drug, also known as pafolacianine, seeks out ovarian cancer tissue and illuminates it when exposed to fluorescent light. This helps surgeons precisely locate the cancer for removal and decreased chance of recurrence after initial treatment. Penn and its industry partners have also developed targeted technologies for cancer of the lung, brain, breast, sarcoma, head and neck, and urinary tract.