Dr. Weeks’ Comment: Since pioneering apitherapy in the USA – as founder of the American Apitherapy Society, it has been a privilege to watch the scientific community become increasingly enamored with the therapeutic potential of venoms in general and honeybee venom in particular. Here is the update- see below! Note: your doctor or oncologist or neurologist doesn’t know about this use of bee venom … but your local beekeeper does! But now that synthetic melittin is being made (and patented) and will be profitable (did I mention “patented”) now (finally) your doctor will hear about bee venom – because it has been rendered into a profitable patentable drug.
Bee Venom Creating A Buzz in Research for Cancer
Scorpion, snake and bee venom might sound like more of a health nightmare and not a cure, but the three could be used in drugs that are made to fight cancer, a recent study shows.
Disastrous consequences to a person’s health could take place by injecting them with pure venom. (Dr. Weeks note: this preceding sentence is poppycock as regards bee venom – unless the person is allergic to the venom)
However, researchers said they found a method to avoid those issues.
The scientists were able to separate the useful peptides and protein from the venom, making them target specifically the malignant cells and evading ones that were healthy. That procedure eliminated the harmful effects the toxins normally would have on the health of an individual.
The lead author of the study from the University of Illinois said the researchers safely used toxins from venom in tiny nanometer particles to treat melanoma and breast cancer cells in a lab setting.
The scientists continued by saying the particles, which are hidden from the immune system, move the toxin straight to the malignant cancer cells, which spare the normal cells and tissue.
Snake, scorpion and bee venom has peptide and proteins that are able to attach to the membranes of cancer cells. This could possibly block the spread and growth of the cancer, as studies previously done have suggested.
However, researchers have not been able to harness the promising properties of anti-cancer into the form of a drug, because the injection of venom likely would cause side effects that could be serious such as nerve cell and heart muscle damage, bleeding beneath the skin and unwanted clotting.
This is the point that the new research enters.
When the researchers examined venom from a honeybee, they identified melittin, a substance that prevents the multiplying of cancer cells.
However, bees do not make very much of this particular substance, and it would not be practical extracting if for testing in labs and in clinical use. Instead, the scientists were able to synthesize melittin in a lab setting.
That was then injected into tiny nanoparticles.
The researchers said the particles are so tiny and packed tightly that they to not leak when exposed to the bloodstream so they do not cause side effects.
The synthetic peptides are able to target and attach directly to cancer stem cell preventing them from spreading or growing, in a lab setting.