The most dangerous kind of brain tumor is glioma. Not only that it is poorly responsive to conventional chemotherapy, and is well hidden from scanners, spreading in a wide range of brain tissue. It seems that in the future treatment of such cancers will be a little easier — scientists have created a new type of visualization of the tumor, which makes cancer cells “light up like a Christmas tree”. Most interesting is that the technology is based on amino acid contained in the venom of Scorpions.
To make a tumor more visible and to highlight its edges for subsequent removal, researchers from the Medical center cedars-Sinai used a compound called, totolerate (BLZ-100). It is a synthetic variation extracted from Scorpion venom peptide that is easily associated with cancer cells of the brain. Adding a fluorescent dye, the researchers made it visible with infrared radiation — on the screen, the tumor stands out well against normal brain tissue.
With this fluorescence it is possible to see the tumor more clearly, because it lights up like a Christmas tree.
Adam Mamelak, senior author of the study
Agent BLZ-100 for detection of tumors was tested in 17 patients it was proved that it is non-toxic and completely safe. Along with it was tested a new compact camera that allows the surgeons in real time to switch between infrared and normal images. Previously this required a somewhat cumbersome cameras.
A new visualization technique has successfully passed clinical trials, and at the moment researchers estimate the possibility of its use for the detection of tumors in children. The technique will be widely used after approval from Management on sanitary inspection behind quality of medicines the FDA.