A novel imaging technique that uses a synthesized form of scorpion venom to light up brain tumors has shown promise in a clinical trial.
A novel imaging technique that uses a synthesized form of scorpion venom to light up brain tumors has shown promise in a clinical trial. The imaging system enables neurosurgeons to better see malignant growths that often are difficult to fully eliminate.
Results from the multi-institutional clinical trial, led by investigators from Cedars-Sinai and sponsored by Blaze Bioscience, Inc., appear in the journal Neurosurgery.
The new imaging technique that was studied uses a special high-sensitivity near-infrared camera developed at Cedars-Sinai, along with the imaging agent tozuleristide, or BLZ-100, developed by Blaze. The agent contains a synthetic version of an amino acid compound found in scorpion venom.
Like the natural form of the compound, the synthetic version is not toxic and binds to tumor cells. It is attached to a fluorescent dye that glows when stimulated by a near-infrared laser. Viewed through the camera, the imaging agent might allow neurosurgeons to detect the boundaries between tumors and healthy brain tissue during surgery, improving the opportunity for surgeons to remove tumor cells while sparing normal brain tissue.
Read more at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
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