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Virtua Health to Provide Groundbreaking Lung-Cancer Advance 

New technology makes tumors glow, so doctors can better see them
(MARLTON, N.J., June 6, 2024) An innovative drug “lights up” lung cancer cells, enabling surgeons to better see and remove malignant tumors during surgery.
Virtua Health is the first provider in South Jersey to offer this important advancement, called Cytalux® (pafolacianine).
“This is a groundbreaking product. It will help us operate more accurately and provide better cancer care,” said thoracic surgeon Matthew Puc, MD, program director of the Penn Medicine | Virtua Health Cancer Program based in Marlton, N.J.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths, with nearly 240,000 new diagnoses and 130,000 deaths from the disease in the U.S. each year1. In New Jersey, more than 5,000 people are diagnosed with lung cancer annually, the CDC estimates
Cytalux helps surgeons see the edges of the tumor, enhancing their ability to remove all of the cancer and preserve as much healthy tissue as possible. The drug also helps surgeons find second tumors that were not visible on imaging scans. 
In a clinical trial, Cytalux helped surgeons find a lung cancer lesion that could not be found with standard approaches in 19% of patients. Additionally, in 8% of patients,  Cytalux identified a second cancerous lesion that was missed by pre-operative imaging.

“Without Cytalux, those tumors would not have been visible,” Dr. Puc explained.
Currently, he noted, up to 55% of people who undergo surgery to eliminate their lung cancer have a recurrence2. Cytalux can potentially reduce such recurrences and increase survival rates by helping surgeons find and fully remove more cancers, said Dr. Puc. 
“It gives us a better sense of where the tumor begins and ends,” he stated. 
Cytalux is administered by IV (intravenously) in as little as one hour before surgery. The drug binds to lung cancer cells and lights up when viewed through a special surgical camera. 
“At Virtua Health, we’re committed to bringing the most advanced cancer care to our patients,” Dr. Puc emphasized. “We’re thrilled to bring this leading-edge technology to the people of South Jersey.”
For more information about cancer care at Virtua Health, visit or call 888-VIRTUA-3.