Honey Bee Venom Kills Breast Cancer Cells

The venom’s main component also works in unison with existing chemotherapy drugs to reduce tumor growth.

A recent ABC NEWS article discussed an unlikely killer of breast cancer cells: honey bee venom. New research published in Nature Precision Oncology suggests the venom can kill “aggressive and hard-to-treat” breast cancer cells. The study was conducted by Dr. Ciara Duffy at Perth’s Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research as part of her PhD. 

The research showed that a specific concentration of the venom killed 100% of triple-negative breast cancer and HER2-enriched breast cancer cells within an hour. The venom component that has the killing effect is called melittin, and the researchers were able to reproduce it synthetically with similar anti-cancer effects. The hope is to eventually develop a treatment for the former, but it’s a long way out. 

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