The FDA has approved Navidea Bio-pharmaceutical’s Lymphoseek (technetium Tc 99m tilmanocept) injection to locate lymph nodes that are infected with cancer causing agents. The said drug candidate is a radioactive diagnostic imaging agent that helps physicians and medical professionals locate lymph nodes in patients with melanoma or breast cancer.

According to reports from various sources, with this approval Lymphoseek has joined the class of FDA approved drug candidates along with Isosulfan blue and Sulfur Colloid that are used for mapping of lymph nodes in the human body. The U.S.FDA had approved Isosulfan blue in the year of 1981 and Sulfur Colloid in 1974.

It is important to underline here that the pathological examination and removal of lymph nodes draining from a primary tumor is an important diagnostic evaluation for patients suffering from melanoma and breast cancer. Health care professionals and doctors inject the drug into the suspected area of tumor and then with the help of a handheld radiation detector detect the lymph node that have taken up Lymphoseek’s radioactivity.

The safety and effectiveness of the drug Lymphoseek was assessed and established in two different clinical trials each of 332 patients with breast cancer and melanoma. The clinical trials were randomized, double blinded and placebo controlled.

What are Lymph Nodes?

A lymph node is an oval-shaped organ found in the specified parts of human body and constitutes an important element of the immune system. Some of the parts where lymph nodes are found in plenty are armpit and stomach. Each human body consists of a network of lymph nodes and lymph vessels and unlike blood circulatory system of the body these vessels carry clear watery fluid called lymph. The lymph nodes present in the network are tightly packed with special kind of white blood cells macrophages and lymphocytes and are important for the proper functioning of human immune system.

About Lymphoseek

Lymphoseek is a drug candidate that is made up of radiopharmaceutical attached to the dextra core of the drug that is meant at targeting dextramannose receptors on the surface of the cells present in the lymphatic system. After targeting the receptor the drug candidate binds with the lymph nodes and stays there for a while which help doctors determine the location of cancer causing agent.