I am not a fan of most bugs. I particularly don’t like them when they invade my home. But I do understand that bugs serve a very important function in our lives.
Enter the Scorpion. Scorpion stings are painful as well as deadly in some instances. But one of the reasons for the existence of the scorpion, especially the deadliest one found in the Middle East and North Africa, has been discovered.
The venom of the “deathstalker” scorpion contains a molecule that has been found to prolong the life of dogs with cancer.
At a clinical trial in Washington State University Veterinary School, about 28 dogs enrolled in the trial were injected intravenously with a chemical from the deathstalker’s venom before undergoing surgery. The chemical “paints” the cancer cells making them fluorescent, enabling surgeons to distinguish them from normal cells. This gives surgeons the ability to remove all cancer cells during surgery. It could mean that the method of hit or miss by taking wide margins and hoping all cancer cells were removed, obsolete, extending survival time and preventing cancer cells from metastasizing.
Dr. Jim Olson, pediatric oncologist, discovered and patented the “tumor paint” in humans.
This is yet another contribution of our beloved dogs, providing lifesaving information to human cancers.