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February 20,  2002

Prostate Cancer Imaging Agent Helps to Detect Recurrence and Spread of Prostate Cancer Earlier, says Cytogen Corporation  

Findings Published in Journal `Cancer' Show That ProstaScint(R) Diagnostic Scan, Developed and Marketed by Cytogen Corporation, Discovers Recurrent Prostate Cancer Before it is Likely to be Found by Conventional Scanning Methods; Information Could Play Key Role in Treatment

(SafetyAlerts) - A study conducted by scientists at Duke University Medical Center and Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions shows that the use of a prostate cancer diagnostic imaging agent significantly improves a doctor's ability to detect the location and extent of recurrent cancer in patients who previously had their prostates removed. The study results were published in the February 15, 2002 issue of "Cancer."

The study followed 255 prostate cancer patients who were previously treated with a radical prostatectomy, a procedure in which the entire prostate gland and some surrounding tissue is surgically removed. Researchers found that the use of the radiolabeled imaging agent ProstaScint(R) (Capromab Pendetide) makes it possible to identify the existence and location of recurrent prostate cancer earlier than using previously available imaging methods such as a CT (computed tomography) scan. A radical prostatectomy is most often used to treat localized disease (prostate cancer confined to the gland). According to the American Cancer Society, nearly 40% of men with prostate cancer have local recurrence of the disease after surgery, and approximately 11% are at high risk for metastatic spread of the disease.

After undergoing a radical prostatectomy, patients in the study received no additional therapy and subsequently showed an increase in the level of PSA (prostate-specific antigen) in their blood as the only indication that their cancer had recurred. These patients, whose PSA levels ranged from 0.1-4.0 ng/mL, were then given a ProstaScint scan to localize their disease. The ProstaScint scan identified recurrent disease in 72% of patients with serum PSA less than or equal to 4.0 ng/mL. Of patients who also underwent additional imaging studies, bone and/or CT scans identified recurrence in only 12% (16/139) and 16% (15/92) of patients, respectively.

"In most instances, conventional imaging modalities such as a CT scan detect a recurrence of prostate cancer only when a volume of cancer effects changes to normal anatomic structures, which also indicates a significant advance in disease progression. This study suggests that a ProstaScint scan may detect and localize recurrent prostate cancer earlier than previously thought possible for patients with a low serum PSA after radical prostatectomy," said Ganesh V. Raj, M.D., Ph.D., the lead author on the study from the Division of Urology, Duke University Medical Center.

ProstaScint(R), developed and marketed by Cytogen Corporation (NASDAQ: CYTO) , is a radiolabeled monoclonal antibody that specifically targets PSMA (prostate specific membrane antigen), a highly expressed marker found on prostate cancer cells. During a ProstaScint imaging procedure, the radiolabeled monoclonal antibody is administered intravenously into the patient, travels through the bloodstream and binds to prostate cancer cells. A gamma camera detects the radioactive isotope that has been attached to the antibody, identifying the specific sites of cancer.

"A better understanding of the location and extent of disease may help to determine the most appropriate course of therapy for recurrent prostate cancer and could potentially help certain patients to avoid the risks and side effects associated with unnecessary or overly-invasive treatments," Dr. Raj added.

Approximately one in every six men will develop prostate cancer. It is the second leading cause of cancer death among men in the United States, exceeded only by lung cancer. The American Cancer Society estimates that approximately 198,100 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed this year in the U.S., and that 31,500 men will die of this disease.

Source: PRNewswire

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