Thursday, December 5, 2013, 7:30 – 8:30pm

Jim Olson
Lighting Up Brain Tumors

Downstairs at Town Hall; enter on Seneca Street. $5.

Jim Olson2
Media Library, Science

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In an innovative approach to treatment, Dr. Jim Olson, a pediatric brain cancer specialist at Seattle Children’s and co-founder of Blaze Bioscience Inc., has been working to create Tumor Paint™ technology designed to enter cancer cells throughout the body, causing them to shine brightly. The most amazing part? A compound in the  product is derived from scorpion venom. Soon to enter human clinical trials, this method of lighting up tumor cells  could potentially increase efficiency in surgery by pinpointing cancer cells and avoiding unnecessary cutting. In August, Olson, also a researcher at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, launched Project Violet, a unique program that uses crowd sourced funding to research and develop new drugs for cancer and other diseases. The project encourages the public to get involved by adopting a candidate drug molecule and watching it progress through the cycles of discovery and perhaps even clinical trials.

Presented by: Town Hall, in partnership with Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center through the Seattle Science Lectures.
Learn more: About Olson.

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  1. Posted February 22, 2014 at 5:07 pm | Permalink


    My son in law has a GBM they have 3 small children. He was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer he has had an operation and chemo and radiation. I was wondering if he could go on a clinical trial for the deathstalker venom treatment.

  2. Posted April 28, 2014 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    Dear Dr. Jim Olson,
    13 years ago when you were working with Dr. Guyer at seattle childrens, you were seeing a baby who was diagnosed with a benign brain tumor. Well to tell you that baby boy was me, here I am 13 years later thankful for all the work you and your team of staff have done to help me. I wanted to say that I hope your tumor paint goes all the way past clinical trials and that you become really successful in your new inovation.

  3. Posted July 19, 2014 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    Dear Dr. Johnson, I enjoyed seeing and hearing your short talk on the use of scorpion toxin (as a luminiscent agent) in your surgical expose’. It was fantastic and I did appreciate the method and the contents. In this connection I wish to bring to your notice a product called “Alanosine” or “SDX-102″. The molecular weight of this product is only 141.1 (C6H2N2O4). In addition it is of biological origin. The natural product is only levo and the synthetic one is DL. If you would kindly refer to Google (Brain tumor/alanosine) you will find about 31,000 references. This is a fantastic purine inhibitor. I was personally interested in tissues which normally do not multiply in the body but could produce tumors. Naturally, nerve cells were clearly good candidates. In my early experiments, I used a virus (SV-40) induced tumor in hamsters. A well grown tumor, could be almost 1/3 of the hamster size. Daily treatment over a period of 30-40 days reduced the size to almost that of a small grain and even after the cessation of treatment,the tumor did not grow. Certainly, a purine inhibitor offers toxicity to normal cells but a small molecule like alanosine would preferentially be consumed by the fast growing tumor cells. In one of the references it was noticed that: “Results indicate that normal cells, which are intrensically MTAP (methyladenosine phosphorylase minus) are protected from alanosine toxicity, where as MTAP minus tumor cells would be killed. Thus, the results support the use of L-alanosine alone in combination with a salvage agent as a MTAP selective therapy for T-cell acute lymphobkastic leukemia (in vitro)”.

    I was wondering whether a dynamic young investigator like you could include this unique purine inhibitor of low mol.wt Alanosine in your investigations. Looking forward for your opinion and thanking you in anticipation, I remain

    Cordially yours, Dr. Y. K. S. Murthy

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  1. […] Jim. (5 December 2013). “Lighting up brain cancer.” Seattle Science Lectures. Lecture conducted from Town Hall, […]

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