An article published by the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research, dated September 2, 2020, states, “A specific concentration of honeybee venom can induce 100% cancer cell death while having minimal effects on normal cells.” Clearly, this should give optimism for those who have breast cancer.
The researcher, Dr. Duffy, explained that her goal was to see if there were anti-cancer properties in the venom of the honey. Nature published early research on honey bee venom in 1950 in seeing if the venom could reduce the tumors in plants.
Dr. Duffy further said that it has only been in the last 20 years that scientists have shown real interest.
There is an estimated 20,000 different species of bees.
Research has shown that only certain types of honey bees produce the needed chemical compound that is effective in fighting cancer. The compound is called melittin. Dr. Duffy’s research found that the European honey bee in Australia, Ireland, and England “produced almost identical effects in breast cancer…”
Dr. Duffy says: “No-one had previously compared the effects of honeybee venom or melittin across all of the different subtypes of breast cancer and normal cells.
“We tested honeybee venom on normal breast cells, and cells from the clinical subtypes of breast cancer: hormone receptor-positive, HER2-enriched, and triple-negative breast cancer.
“We tested a very small, positively charged peptide in honeybee venom called melittin, which we could reproduce synthetically, and found that the synthetic product mirrored the majority of the anti-cancer effects of honeybee venom,”
An exciting aspect of her research is that the particular venom “…could [be] reproduce[d] synthetically,…” The ability to supply this needed treatment for the many who have cancer is if the compound can be produced in large enough quantities using this specific type of melittin.
Peter Klinken, Western Australia’s Chief Scientist Professor, is quoted as saying: “This is an incredibly exciting observation that melittin, a major component of honeybee venom, can suppress the growth of deadly breast cancer cells, particularly triple-negative breast cancer.
“Significantly, this study demonstrates how melittin interferes with signalling pathways within breast cancer cells to reduce cell replication. It provides another wonderful example of where compounds in nature can be used to treat human diseases.”
One of the wonderful things about the research was how fast melittin worked in killing breast cancer cells. Dr. Duffy said, “We found that melittin can completely destroy cancer cell membranes within 60 minutes.”
Further research is anticipated to focus on the best method of administering melittin and kind of toxicities and dosage parameters.
This article presents hope for all those who are fighting breast cancer and their loved ones.