A groundbreaking discovery in Nedlands, Australia is giving new hope by offering a natural way to put the sting into breast cancer. Using hundreds of honeybees, this new study reveals the venom in these insects’ stingers quickly kills breast cancer cells.
And here’s the remarkable news. Dr. Ciara Duffy, the research coordinator, says honeybee venom destroys multiple types of breast cancer, yes even including the triple-negative variety. Dr. Duffy’ study in npj Precision Oncology also found that the venom not only eradicates these cancers, but it also breaks up a cancerous cell’s ability to reproduce.
According to a media release from the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research, “The venom was extremely potent, and it contains a compound called melittin which can completely destroy cancer cell membranes within 60 minutes.”
Melittin breaks down the chemical messages breast cancer cells transmits to trigger both cell growth and cell division in just 20 minutes. The compound suppresses the receptors that commonly overexpress themselves in triple-negative breast cancer and HER2-enriched breast cancer.
Unfortunately, not all bee venom can fight cancer. Dr. Duffy’s tests on 312 honeybees and bumblebees from Perth, Western Australia reveal bumblebee venom does not induce cancer cell death. Honeybees from other regions however, share this special ability to rapidly stop the disease. Duffy reports that it was the European honeybee in Australia, Ireland and England that produced almost identical effects in breast cancer cells.
In the study, scientists dissected live bee stingers to extract melittin. But fortunately, this compound can be successfully reproduced in labs and the synthetic product mirrored the anti-cancer effects of honeybee venom.
Melittin forms numerous pores (tiny holes) in the breast cancer cell membrane and it may also help current cancer treatments like chemotherapy. Duffy suspects other cancer drugs may be able to use these openings to penetrate the cells and kill the disease. “The combination of melittin and docetaxel was extremely efficient in reducing tumor growth in mice,” she said.
Bee venom has been studies for years, but it’s only in the last few decades that it’s been used to treat cancer. Both honeybee venom and melittin have demonstrated antitumoral effects in melanoma, non-small-cell lung cancer, glioblastoma, leukemia, ovarian, cervical, and pancreatic cancers. Bee venom has very little effect on normal cells, and that is something to shout about! More research is needed to determine what the patient dosage should be. This is one more way research is putting the sting into breast cancer.
How many of you have heard of this use of bee venom to kill cancer cells? If offered to you, would you be willing to try it?
For Your Health,