Scorpion Protein Used to Help Visualize Brain Tumors

Clinicians at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Institute, along with scientists at Blaze Bioscience, Inc., have developed a new way to visualize brain tumors. The new imaging technique utilizes a special, high-sensitivity near-infrared camera developed at Cedars-Sinai, along with tozuleristide, or BLZ-100, the tumor-cell binding imaging agent developed by Blaze. The imaging agent contains a synthetic version of an amino acid compound found in scorpion venom. This combination can help clinicians visualize the boundaries between tumors and non-tumors more effectively, allowing them to remove tumor cells while sparing normal brain tissue.

They utilized this imaging method in a clinical trial with 17 adult patients with brain tumors. The patients were given varying doses of BLZ-100 before surgery. Despite varying dose levels, all patient tumors fluoresced, including both high- and low-grade gliomas. Patients were monitored for 30 days after surgery, with no noticed adverse effects. Investigators concluded that the imaging system was safe and could be useful for imaging the brain tumors during surgery.

“The technique in this study holds great promise not only for brain tumors but for many other cancer types in which we need to identify the margins of cancers. The ultimate goal is to bring greater precision to the surgical care we provide to our patients.” Keith L. Black, MD, Department of Neurosurgery chair

The publication in Neurosurgery: Phase 1 Safety, Pharmacokinetics, and Fluorescence Imaging Study of Tozuleristide (BLZ-100) in Adults With Newly Diagnosed or Recurrent Gliomas…

Via Cedars-Sinai…

Image by Ester Inbar, available from, Attribution, Link