Neoprobe Corp. of Columbus, Ohio, has announced theexpansion of its adoptive cellular therapy (ACT) pilot study forcolorectal cancer.

The company's (NASDAQ:NEOP) novel approach to adoptivecellular therapy uses "helper cells" found in lymph nodesidentified during surgery by Neoprobe's RadioimmunoguidedSurgery (RIGS) system. Results from the pilot study promptedthe move to an expanded Phase I/II trial.

ACT is an experimental cancer therapy that uses a patient'sown immune cells to fight cancer. In the Neoprobe method, thelymph nodes containing helper immune cells are identified byusing the RIGS surgical system. The lymph nodes are removedfrom the patient, and the helper cells are grown in largequantities in the laboratory. After 10 to 14 days, from 10billion to 100 billion cells are injected back into the patient'sbody, where they elicit a cancer-fighting immune response.Human trials, so far limited to patients with advancedcolorectal cancer, show that the therapy holds promise forreversing or stoppping the growth of malignant tumors.

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