Australian scientists say the venom from honeybees has been found to destroy aggressive breast cancer cells in a lab setting.
The venom – and a compound in it called melittin – were used against two cancer types which are hard to treat: triple-negative and HER2-enriched.
The discovery has been described as “exciting”, but scientists caution that further testing is needed.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer affecting women around the world.
Bee venom has previously been found to have anti-cancer properties for other types of cancer such as melanoma.
The study by the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research in Western Australia was published in Nature Precision Oncology, a peer-reviewed journal.
The honeybee extract were found to be “extremely potent”, said Ciara Duffy ,a 25-year-old PhD researcher who led the study
One concentration of venom was found to kill cancer cell within an hour, with minimal harm to the other cells,but the toxicity increased for other dosage levels.
The researchers also found out that the melittin compound on its own was effective in “shutting down” or disrupting cancer cell growth.
While melittin natulrally occurs in honeybee venom,it can also be synthetically produced.Follow us in social media: