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  • Writer's pictureClaudia Regojo

The Curative Power of the Cuban Blue Scorpion

I first heard about the blue scorpion’s use to treat cancer several years ago. My neighbor's mom, who lives in Bulgaria, had several inoperable brain tumors and had been told by her doctors she could not be treated with conventional methods. Her son-in-law traveled to Cuba from Miami and purchased a medicine called Vidatox made from the venom of the blue scorpion, and four years later she is still alive and her tumors have disappeared.

Living in isolation among the bromeliads, the elusive blue scorpion (Rhopalurus junceus) is one of 32 different types of scorpion endemic to the island of Cuba. Every year hundreds of people are stung by this little scorpion, however the sting is not life-threatening. In fact, Cubans have been using the venom of the blue scorpion as an anti-inflammatory and cancer-fighting medicine for more than two decades and possibly much longer. There is evidence from the time of Columbus showing that the native inhabitants of the island treated ulcers and tumors through a prick of blue scorpion. There are also old prescriptions in Cuban folk medicine that instruct cooking blue scorpion tails to treat children with urinary problems and some who’ve even treated arthritis pain with the sting. This knowledge of traditional medicine may have been what sparked Cuban biologist Dr. Misael Bordier Chivas’ interest to formally study the effects of the venom in rats and dogs in the 1980s.

Through experimentation, Dr. Misael Bordier Chivas discovered that the blue scorpion’s venom reduced the size of tumors in rats and dogs. This discovery led to the production of Escozul, a tincture produced using the venom of over 5,000 scorpions that was distributed for free in Cuba for 20 years.

In the beginning, when the product was being developed, the researchers thought that the venom would only affect brain tumors. Yet over time, they found that it has a positive effect on all of the many common cancers – brain, breast, prostate, colon and lung cancer. Dr. Alexis Diaz, a Cuban scientist working in Labiofam's venom-research team, explains that the medicine has produced results only on solid or organ cancers like those in the lungs, pancreas, brain, or stomach but it hasn't been found effective for liquid or blood-based cancers such as leukemia or lymphoma.

By 2010, the medicine’s success led to a new dilemma, the increasing popularity of the medicine was resulting in the decline of the blue scorpion population. Realizing that there were not enough scorpions to meet demand, the manufacturers producing the medicine, Labiofam, announced they had created a new homeopathic version. This homeopathic remedy is available in international markets under the name VIDATOX.

Vidatox is produced from five protein peptides extracted from the venom of the blue scorpion, The remedy is homeopathic, meaning the venom is diluted in purified water and succussed (vigorously shaken). To collect the venom, the scorpions are squeezed once a month and a few drops are extracted from their tail, basically scientists “milk” the scorpions rather than electrocute them to extract the venom as had been previously done. Those scorpions whose venom has been extracted are tagged and released. The marking prevents the team from catching scorpions that they have already used.

According to the company, Vidatox has no contraindications with oncological treatment - meaning the medicine is compatible with and can be taken simultaneously with radiation treatment and chemotherapy. Vidatox has no harmful side effects and seems to always help patients in some way even when a cure is not achievable due to the advancement of the disease. Keep in mind, the scientists behind the medicine refrain from saying that it cures cancer, rather they recommend it alongside conventional treatment to assist in reducing inflammation, decrease pain and increase energy and appetite. The manufacturers claim that 75% of patients have a positive effect from taking the medication and most report a total reduction in pain.

Labiofam says they have studied the effects of the venom on more than 10,000 patients. One can find many testimonials on their website and there are several stories online of successful treatment of tumors using Vidatox. Although Labiofam has not published any peer reviewed studies, the company plans to conduct additional research to support their claims and complement existing anecdotal evidence. Most recently, the Grupo LifEscozul®, with more than 17 years of scientific-medical research, has developed what they claim to be the most effective and advanced formulation of the medicine after isolating and purifying the antitumor active principles present in the venom. This version is in the process of being patented and tested in clinical trials scheduled for 2021.

The blue scorpion has attracted the attention of the scientific world. Most recently, researchers investigating the use of blue scorpion venom as a cancer treatment have identified specific peptides that destroy cancer cells. The peptide chlorotoxin, is the same chemical that paralyzes a scorpion’s prey. In one study published in 2015 by Science Daily, researchers found that these peptides bind specifically to cancer cells and shrink and destroy them. Indeed researchers are studying the venom from various scorpion types, including the Blue scorpion (Rhopalurus Junceus), Chinese golden scorpion (Mesobuthus martensii Karsch), and Deathstalker scorpion (Leiurus quinquestriatus hebraeus) for their chemotherapeutic and anti-angiogenic potential.

Much like a scorpion uses toxin components to target and kill its prey, another research team from the City of Hope institute is using scorpion venom to direct T cells to target the cancerous cells. Using a component of scorpion venom called chlorotoxin (CLTX), these researchers were able to target cancerous cells without affecting non-tumor cells in the brain or in other organs. After very promising results, the City of Hope research team is planning to proceed with the first-in-human clinical trial using the CLTX-CAR T cells.

According to the World Health Organization, in 2020 cancer killed approximately 10 million people worldwide. Despite billions of dollars invested in research, cancer treatment continues to remain inadequate. Today, the most common cancers are breast, lung, colon, rectum and prostate cancers. More research should be dedicated to this promising medicine. Maybe someday we will be able to easily cure cancer; considering it nothing more than a simple, treatable disease.


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