Researchers find medical use for venom - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

5/6/09

Researchers find medical use for venom

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LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - For a while now, scientists have been studying the effects of scorpion venom on cancer.  When they found it only reduced the cancer cells by about half they dropped the studies. 

Now researchers at the University of Washington say they have found a better way to use that scorpion venom after all - to kill brain tumors.  They found that by combining the venom with nanoparticles, it doubles its power and cuts the spread of cancer by 98%. Neurosurgeon Randy Jensen, M.D. said, "These nanoparticles sort of shield them around, form circles around the drug that you want to deliver and allow it to pass through the blood brain barrier".

These nanoparticles act as sort of bodyguards, taking the drug where it needs to go. Thousands of nanoparticles would fit into a single red blood cell. 

So far, researchers have only experimented with cells grown in the lab. They will now move to mice to see if they get the same dramatic results.

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