Old Red Dye Shows Promise as New Cancer Foe

“Modern cancer drugs supercharge immune systems, target specific gene mutations and pack modified viruses into vaccines. Amid the increasing sophistication, one investigational treatment stands out for its simplicity.

“Rose Bengal, a cheap industrial chemical that turns yarn and food bright red, has been used as a diagnostic staining agent for some time. Now, some scientists are looking at its potential to fight various forms of cancer.

“At the forefront is Provectus Biopharmaceuticals Inc, which is testing a reformulated version of the industrial dye on melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. The Knoxville, Tennessee, company reported promising results in a small melanoma study.”