A central area of investigation in cancer research and therapeutic treatment is the role of multidrug resistance (MDR) in neoplastic cells to a variety of chemotherapeutic compounds. Elevated levels of Pglycoprotein, an integral membrane protein that acts as a drug efflux pump, have been associated with the phenomena of MDR. High levels of P-glycoprotein expression have been identified in a variety of cell lines selected for resistance to various chemotherapeutic drugs. In addition, elevated levels of the protein have been associated with leukemia, ovarian cancer, and breast cancer. Centocor, based in Malvem, Pa., now markets a fluorescein-conjugated monoclonal antibody (P-glycoCHEK C219) designed to evaluate the presence of multidrug resistant cells in cancer patients. Neoplastic cells isolated from patients are incubated with the fluorescent marker and subsequently subjected to flow-cytometric or fluorescence microscopic analysis of P-glycoprotein levels.

The P-glycoCHEK C219 priced at $550, is sufficient for 100 determinations. Potential applications include...

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