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BREAKTHROUGH IN CANCER DIAGNOSTICS TOPIC AT MAJOR MEDICAL MEETING OF THE SOCIETY OF NUCLEAR MEDICINE JUNE 8-11

 TORONTO, June 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Monoclonal antibodies -- laboratory- designed substances that seek out and bind to tumor cells -- are showing enormous promise in diagnosing colorectal and ovarian cancers, according to research findings slated for presentation at the 40th Annual Meeting of the Society of Nuclear Medicine (SNM) June 8-11 in Toronto at the Metro Toronto Convention Center.
 Investigators from major cancer research centers in the United States will describe their experiences using OncoScint(R) CR/OV, the first monoclonal antibody-based imaging test kit approved for use in determining the location and extent of colorectal and ovarian carcinomas. American Cancer Society data for 1992 indicate that together these cancers claimed an estimated 70,000 lives in the United States alone.
 "Determination of optimal cancer therapy is contingent on knowing precisely where the disease is located and how far it has spread. OncoScint CR/OV gives us that information with more precision than any other diagnostic tool currently available," explained Charles E. Neal, M.D., chairman, Department of Radiology, Memorial Medical Center, Springfield, Ill., who has extensive clinical and research experience with OncoScint CR/OV.
 According to Dr. Neal, OncoScint CR/OV offers a high degree of specificity in ovarian and colorectal cancer detection. "It scans not only areas where cancer is suspected, but also has the capability to reveal occult, or hidden, pockets of tumor cells. This can be an important advantage, especially in ovarian malignancies, which often spread before patients experience symptoms," he explained.
 Dr. Neal added that OncoScint CR/OV surpasses even the most sophisticated of current imaging procedures when interpreted in conjunction with a review of information from other appropriate tests.
 Doctors administer OncoScint CR/OV intravenously. The antibody, tagged with a harmless diagnostic isotope, acts like a guided missile, targeting a specific protein common to the surfaces of both colorectal and ovarian cancer cells. Traveling through the bloodstream, it seeps into body tissues, seeking out and binding to cells that match its unique code. The isotope tag linked to the antibody emits gamma rays, "lighting up" malignant cells for easy identification on gamma scanning.
 Computerized tomography (CT Scanning) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are good for imaging tumor masses in the liver, but not very good for visualizing pelvic and intra-abdominal carcinomas, such as ovarian and colorectal malignancies. "Neither CT scanning nor MRI can detect masses outside the field of view. This is where OncoScint is especially useful," according to Dr. Neal.
 Until now, doctors have relied almost exclusively on exploratory surgery to diagnose ovarian cancer. "This approach is debilitating and costly. If recurrences are suspected, the surgeon may need to go back in for a second look in an already compromised patient," Neal said.
 He noted that while a variety of noninvasive techniques are used in diagnosing colorectal cancer, OncoScint CR/OV can assist decision-making in patient management through the detection of occult disease, confirmation of isolated disease, and clarification of equivocal results of other tests.
 Investigators report that OncoScint CR/OV is well tolerated by patients. Side effects are generally minor and transient. The monoclonal antibody and isotope material pass harmlessly from the body within days of testing.
 The new monoclonal antibody test kit will be the focus of numerous presentations and workshops during the four-day SNM meeting. Also, at this meeting, Dr. Neal, along with Ralph J. Doerr, M.D., chief of general surgery, Buffalo General Hospital, Buffalo, N.Y., and Leonard M. Freeman, M.D., director, Department of Nuclear Medicine, Montefiore Medical Center, New York City, will participate in question-and-answer sessions on the new test.
 OncoScint CR/OV is manufactured by Cytogen Corporation, Princeton, N.J., and distributed by Knoll Pharmaceutical Company, Whippany, N.J.
 -0- 6/4/93
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: For an interview with a physician who has clinical experience with OncoScint, contact: Janice Pearson or Gina Macmillan/
 /CONTACT: Janice Pearson or Gina Macmillan of D. J. Storch and Associates, Inc., 908-273-1400, for Society of Nuclear Medicine/


CO: Society of Nuclear Medicine; Cytogen Corporation ST: Ontario IN: MTC SU:

WB-OS -- NY031 -- 5458 06/04/93 12:59 EDT
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