Honeybee venom could hold secret to treating aggressive breast cancer

As part of her PhD studies, Dr Ciara Duffy from the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research has tested the effect of honeybee venom on breast cancer including triple negative breast cancer an aggressive form of breast cancer. The results showed honeybee venom and a component melittin rapidly destroyed triple negative breast cancer and HER-2 enriched cancer cells within 60 minutes with minimal effect on normal cells.

Also examined was the effectiveness of melittin used in combination with existing chemotherapy resulting in the chemotherapy being more effective in reducing tumour growth in mice.

Western Australia’s Chief Scientist Professor Peter Klinken described the research as “incredibly exciting”. Further studies will be required but the findings are an exciting development and a great example of how compounds in nature can be used to treat human diseases. Read more… 

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