Friday, December 19, 2014

Veterinary Highlights: Scorpion Venom "Tumor Paint"

One of the trickiest parts of cancer surgery is getting all of the cancerous cells and not leaving any behind. For that reason a lot more tissue is removed to ensure clean margins. With bone cancer, amputation is the recommended approach.

Image WSU News

What if the cancerous cells could light up like a Christmas tree make it easy to see them?

That's where the fluorescent substance from the venom of the Deathstalker Scorpion comes in.

At Washington State University, clinical trials of “tumor paint,” a product that lights up cancer cells, are proving beneficial in treating canines.

The re-engineered molecule latches onto malignant tumors making them glow and stand out against normal tissues.

The substance prefers tumor cells over normal cells. This allows better detection and removal of cancerous cells while leaving healthy tissue alone.

Sounds like a very cool idea.

Source article:
Dogs With Cancer Saved By Scorpion Venom

Further reading:
Scorpion-derived ‘tumor paint’ helps dogs at WSU
Tumor Paint for Solid Tumors—Phase 2

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