New research could take the sting out of bee stings, which apparently contain an “extremely potent” cancer-fighting substance
Scientists are discovering honeybee stings aren’t all bad. The venom they release into our bodies is toxic to a wide range of tumors — including melanoma, lung, ovarian, and pancreatic cancers — according to recent laboratory tests.
Now, a study of the effects on breast cancer has been published revealing astonishing results.
A molecule called melittin – the very same substance responsible for creating the painful sensation caused by the bee’s sting – is also capable of demolishing breast cancer cells within an hour!
The Australian study tested melittin on the two most aggressive types of breast cancer – triple-negative breast cancer and HER2-enriched breast cancer – which have the worst outcomes and tend to develop resistance to existing treatments.
“The venom was extremely potent,” said Dr. Ciara Duffy, who led the research. “We found that melittin can completely destroy cancer cell membranes within 60 minutes.”
Amazingly, melittin was able to shut down the chemical messages between cancer cells, which are essential to cancer cell growth and cell division.
And best of all – unlike chemotherapy and radiation – honeybee venom had no negative effect on surrounding healthy cells.
The researchers say melittin can easily be reproduced so bees won’t have to be harmed if the pharmaceutical industry decides to let the treatment come to market.
The study found bumblebee venom did not contain melittin and had no effect on the cancer cells.