FDA Approves Study of Scorpion-Derived ‘Tumor Paint’ for Brain Cancer Patients

Seattle cancer researchers are hoping that they will be able to use scorpion venom to fight deadly brain cancer through a new product called “Tumor Paint.”

For the first time, the Food and Drug Administration has approved the product, developed by Blaze Bioscience, for study in human trials in the U.S.

During the phase one trial, the tumor paint will be used to on an estimated 21 people with a glioma, or tumor in the brain or spine.

In theory the “paint” will light up the tumor with special florescent molecules that will allow surgeons to then remove cancerous tissue more effectively and safely.

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