Newswise — Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago is pleased to announce the first pediatric use of the novel fluorescent agent CYTALUX during surgery to remove lung metastases. The drug allows surgeons to better visualize cancer in the lung, as well as potentially detect additional cancerous nodules missed by preoperative imaging. This drug is FDA-approved in adult patients, but Lurie Children’s is the first-in-pediatrics to have an Investigational New Drug application with the FDA to study the drug’s safety and feasibility in children.

 “We are thrilled to be the first children’s hospital to offer this novel technology that lights up cancer in the lung during surgery, and helps us see and remove nodules that we might have missed otherwise,” said Tim Lautz, MD, Director of Surgical Oncology at Lurie Children’s and Associate Professor of Surgery at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “While lung cancer is rare in children, about 20 percent of kids with solid tumors will have lung metastases. The most common conditions for which we remove lung nodules are osteosarcoma and soft tissue sarcoma, and at times this surgery is also needed in children with liver and kidney tumors.”

Administered by standard IV infusion before surgery, CYTALUX binds to folate receptors that are present on lung cancer cells and contains a dye that lights up during surgery when a special infrared camera is used.

“During lung surgery, some cancerous nodules that are small or beneath the surface of the lung are not always visible to the naked eye – they can hide in plain sight,” said Seth Goldstein, MD, MPhil, who co-treated Lurie Children’s first patient to undergo this type of procedure and is the Director of the Division of Pediatric Surgery’s Surgical Simulation Program. “With CYTALUX, we are more confident that we are removing all the cancer in the lung. Now children can also benefit from this promising new tool in the surgical toolbox.”

CYTALUX is made by On Target Laboratories, a privately held biotechnology company based in West Lafayette, IN.

About Lurie Children’s

Research at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago is conducted through Stanley Manne Children’s Research Institute, which is focused on improving child health, transforming pediatric medicine and ensuring healthier futures through the relentless pursuit of knowledge. Lurie Children’s is a nonprofit organization committed to providing access to exceptional care for every child. It is ranked as one of the nation’s top children’s hospitals by U.S. News & World Report. Lurie Children’s is the pediatric training ground for Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

About On Target Laboratories, Inc.

On Target Laboratories discovers and develops targeted intraoperative molecular imaging agents to illuminate cancer during surgery. Their molecular imaging technology, based on the pioneering work of Philip S. Low, PhD, Purdue University's Presidential Scholar for Drug Discovery and the Ralph C. Corley Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, is comprised of a near-infrared dye and a targeting molecule, or ligand, that binds to receptors overexpressed on cancer cells. The imaging agents illuminate the cancerous tissue, which may enable surgeons to detect more cancer that otherwise may have been left behind.

Register for reporter access to contact details