Venom From Honeybee Kills Aggressive Breast Cancer On DWN RESEARCH | Dialysis World Nigeria - DWN
Venom From Honeybee Kills Aggressive Breast Cancer On DWN RESEARCH
Date Posted: 11/Sep/2020   Deadline: 11/Sep/2009

Although the honeybee is best known for its role as a pollinator, research out of Western Australia has placed it in the spotlight as a key component in the fight against two aggressive forms of breast cancer.

According to a new study by the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research, it has been found that “honeybee venom induces cancer cell death in hard to treat triple-negative breast cancer with minimal effect on healthy cells.”


Dr. Ciara Duffy from the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research and The University of Western Australia, used the venom from 312 honeybees and bumblebees in Perth Western Australia, Ireland and England, to test “the effect of the venom on the clinical subtypes of breast cancer, including triple-negative breast cancer, which has limited treatment options,” the study said.

The aim of the research was to investigate both the anti-cancer properties of honeybee venom, and a component compound, melittin, on different types of breast cancer cells, Dr. Duffy said.


What did the study reveal?

Findings, which were published in the international journal Nature Precision Oncology, revealed that triple-negative breast cancer and HER2-enriched breast cancer cells were rapidly destroyed by honeybee venom.

“We found both honeybee venom and melittin significantly, selectively and rapidly reduced the viability of triple-negative breast cancer and HER2-enriched breast cancer cells. The venom was extremely potent,” Dr. Duffy said.

The study revealed that within an hour, melittin can completely destroy cancer cell membranes.

According to the study, another remarkable effect of melittin was its ability, within 20 minutes, “to substantially reduce the chemical messages of cancer cells that are essential to cancer cell growth and cell division.”


Researchers also found that melittin could be reproduced synthetically, “and found that the synthetic product mirrored the majority of the anti-cancer effects of honeybee venom,” Dr. Duffy said.


Could the findings be integrated with existing cancer treatments?


Dr. Duffy tested to see if melittin could be used with existing chemotherapy drugs, and the study found "the combination of melittin and docetaxel was extremely efficient in reducing tumor growth in mice.”




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