Surgical resection remains the primary component of cancer therapy. The precision required to successfully separate cancer tissue from normal tissue relies heavily on the surgeons ability to delineate the tumor margins. Despite recent advances in surgical guidance and monitoring systems, intra-operative identification of these margins remains imprecise and directly influences patient prognosis. If the surgeon had improved tools to distinguish these margins, tumor progression and unacceptable morbidity could be avoided. In this article, we review the history of chlorotoxin and its tumor specificity and discuss the research currently being generated to target optical imaging agents to cancer tissue.
Keywords: Chlorotoxin, Near-infrared Dye, Optical Imaging, Cancer, Tumor Paint, morbidity, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), agglutinins, Cyanine fluorophores, nanoparticles
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