Using Scorpion Venom to Fight Cancer

Tumor Paint: Changing the way surgeons fight cancer

Seattle researchers have developed a new technology that they say utilizes scorpion venom to help surgeons find and remove dangerous brain cancer cells.

The technology, called “tumor paint,” was developed by Dr. Jim Olson, a brain cancer specialist at Seattle Children’s Hospital.

The “tumor paint” is created by utilizing a protein derived from the paralyzing venom of an Israeli deathstalker scorpion. The re-engineered protein, which binds to cancer cells, is then joined with a fluorescent molecule “flashlight” that has been used safely in human surgeries for decades.

“The scorpion toxin finds the cancer cells and drags the flashlight into them and makes them glow brilliantly,” Olson said.

Image via Hometown News.
Via KMBZ Kansas City.

This entry was posted in Science by Heretic. Bookmark the permalink.

About Heretic

I design video games for a living, write fiction, political theory and poetry for personal amusement, and train regularly in Western European 16th century swordwork. On frequent occasion I have been known to hunt for and explore abandoned graveyards, train tunnels and other interesting places wherever I may find them, but there is absolutely no truth to the rumor that I am preparing to set off a zombie apocalypse. Nothing that will stand up in court, at least. I use paranthesis with distressing frequency, have a deep passion for history, anthropology and sociological theory, and really, really, really hate mayonnaise. But I wash my hands after the writing. Promise.

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