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Cytalux™, an FDA-approved optical imaging agent, is now available at Moffitt Cancer Center. This treatment is for adult patients with ovarian cancer and can be used as an adjunct for the intraoperative identification of malignant lesions. Moffitt is the first institution in the country that was part of Phase 2 and 3 trials to offer this treatment therapy.

Ovarian cancer is the number one cause of gynecologic cancer death in the United States. For women with ovarian cancer, treatment often consists of a combination of cytoreductive surgery and chemotherapy. Now, surgeons will be able to administer the fluorescent imaging technology using the standard I.V. before surgery. Cytalux agent binds to folate receptors that are overexposed in most epithelial ovarian cancer cases and light up intraoperatively under near-infrared light. This helps surgeons to identify malignant lesions that were not preplanned or detected by palpation and normal white light alone. 

"The multidisciplinary experts at Moffitt Cancer Center were instrumental in the development of this technology as active investigators in Phase 2 and randomized Phase 3 studies. Our tissue core lab served as their central lab for study.  This novel therapy treatment is a significant milestone that will advance the way we detect cancer. We know that survival is better with more cancer that is removed.  The removal of more tumors is associated with better survival for patients. We’re excited about the potential of this technology to help patients live longer. We hope to see more patients when they are first diagnosed and need surgery so we can offer this novel treatment. A patient’s best chance is her first chance,” says Gynecologic Program Chair Robert Wenham, MD

Martha Kaye Koehler, a University of Florida alumnus and a Gator fan, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in January 2022. She underwent three rounds of chemotherapy before having the surgery at Moffitt in May. She's one of the first two patients in the U.S. who had the surgery with the use of Cytalux. "After the surgery, Dr. Wenham smiled and said he got it all. It is something that I was longing to hear," she said.

Dr. Wenham stated, "the surgery using Cytalux will take it down to the finest level as much as we can, leaving behind the fewest cancer cells as possible." Currently, Cytalux is approved for ovarian cancer surgery but clinical trials are underway to see if the same imaging technology can be used to treat other cancers as well.  

Video: CYTALUX in use during ovarian cancer surgery

The Department of Gynecologic Oncology at Moffitt Cancer Center is known for providing world-class, individualized treatment, as well as some of the highest survival rates and improved quality of life. We offer the latest options in diagnostic imaging, laboratory testing, and genetic screening, as well as innovations in surgery using Cytalux, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and hormone therapy. 

Our robust clinical trials program, in which some of our experts are leading investigators, provides patients with unique opportunities to benefit from promising new treatments before those options are made widely available in other settings.

If you’d like to refer a patient to Moffitt Cancer Center, complete our online form or contact a physician liaison for assistance. As part of our efforts to shorten referral times as much as possible, online referrals are typically responded to within 24 - 48 hours.