Australian study finds honey bee venom can destroy breast cancer

Thursday, September 3, 2020 | Tag Cloud Tags: , , , ,

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by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) – A pioneering new study in Australia has shown that breast cancer cells can be quickly destroyed by the venom of honey bees, Study Finds reports. Dr. Ciara Duffy from the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research in Western Australia has published a study in which she reports that honey bee venom not only destroys several kinds of breast cancer but also blocks the ability of cancerous cells to reproduce.

Published in the Precision Oncology journal, the study discovered that the stinger on honey bees produces melittin, a powerful compound that intercepts the growth and division of cancerous cell growth and division. The compound suppresses receptors that overexpress themselves in triple-negative breast cancer and HER2-enriched breast cancer, Study Finds said.

According to study researchers, melittin could also be used in cancer treatments, including chemotherapy. The study found that melittin creates tiny holes in the breast cancer cell membrane, through which cancer drugs may be able to enter the cell and kill the disease inside. “We found that melittin can be used with small molecules or chemotherapies, such as docetaxel, to treat highly-aggressive types of breast cancer. The combination of melittin and docetaxel was extremely efficient in reducing tumor growth in mice,” Duffy said in a press release.

Moreover, melittin was found to act very quickly: “The venom was extremely potent. We found that melittin can completely destroy cancer cell membranes within 60 minutes,” Duffy added.

The study found that while a concentrated dose of the venom killed all cancer cells it was applied to, the compound did not affect healthy cells. “This study demonstrates how melittin interferes with signaling pathways within breast cancer cells to reduce cell replication. It provides another wonderful example of where compounds in nature can be used to treat human diseases,” Professor Peter Klinkenhe from the University of Western Australia said in a statement.

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