Cancer-targeted imaging lights up the margins

Novelos Therapeutics is developing a delivery system that will target an optical imaging agent directly to tumors to help in diagnosis and surgery. The agent, known as CLR1502 (GLOW2), allows intraoperative tumor margin illumination and has potential in diagnostic, staging, debulking and curative cancer surgeries, allowing imaging in real time. It is based on the company's phospholipid ether analog (PLE)-based delivery and retention vehicle.

The agent is currently in preclinical trials and Novelos is planning an investigational new drug (IND) application in the second half of 2013 so that it can move into clinical trials. The goal for GLOW2 is that it will help surgeons to see the edges of tumors and therefore be able to remove them more completely. This could reduce the rate of cancer recurrence.

"The potential for GLOW2 to provide surgeons with more accurate visualization of tumor margins during surgery could result in more complete and selective removal of tumors and significantly improve patient outcomes," says Sharon Weber of the University of Wisconsin.

Novelos is carrying out clinical trials using the delivery system to target cancer cells with a PET imaging agent (I-124-CLR1404, or LIGHT) and a molecular radiotherapeutic agent (I-131-CLR1404, or HOT), and both are in clinical trials.

Novelos has struggled over the last couple of years with the failure of its NOV-002 lung cancer drug in Phase III, though it has had some promising results for the same agent in breast cancer in Phase II.

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- read the press release

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