Product could illuminate cancer cells that scalpel may have missed; researchers see potential for major treatment breakthrough
Overlake Medical Center is actively working with cancer patients choosing to participate in a Phase 1 clinical trial of a new investigational product with the potential to dramatically change the landscape of cancer surgery. Blaze Bioscience’s Tumor Paint BLZ-100 intends to provide real-time visualization by fluorescently illuminating cancer cells during surgery, allowing surgeons to increase their precision and achieve better results.
“We are passionate about finding the best treatments for our patients,” said Dr. Kristi Harrington, breast surgeon and medical director of the Overlake Cancer Center. “Innovations like Tumor Paint have the potential to significantly improve the future of cancer care by giving surgeons the ability to see – and remove – more cancer cells during surgery,” she continued. “Currently, we are never 100% sure we’ve removed all of a tumor until we get a pathology report, which can take days. Tumor Paint has the potential to remove some of that doubt.”
The study, formally titled “A Phase 1 exploratory study of the safety and ex vivo fluorescence of BLZ-100 administered by intravenous injection in adult subjects with solid tumors undergoing surgery”, will enroll up to 30 patients with breast, lung, brain, prostate, or colorectal cancers. Thus far, five patients at Overlake have participated.
“We believe this study will provide additional clinical validation of the encouraging results we’ve gotten from veterinary and pre-clinical testing showing a potential broad utility for Tumor Paint BLZ-100,” said Heather Franklin, co-founder and CEO of Blaze Bioscience, the Seattle biotech company founded in 2010 by pediatric neuro-oncologist Dr. Jim Olson. “This trial is an important milestone in our mission to improve the lives of the millions of cancer patients undergoing surgery every year.”
Overlake currently has over 35 clinical trials underway, across multiple performance areas, according to Tina Fortney, clinical research coordinator and research supervisor at OMC. “Our patients participate in a wide variety of trials, from cancer treatment to stroke therapy.
“We are indebted to patients and their families who opt to participate in clinical trials. Modern medicine would not be where it is today without the time and effort of these volunteers.”