Scorpions, bees, and snakes are all known for their painful stings and, in some cases life-threatening venom, but venom’s unique properties could be used for targeting cancer cells. The power of venom has opened up new doors for cancer treatment approaches and the findings will be reported in a video at the 248th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific society in San Francisco, Calif., on Monday to thousands of world leaders in scientific research.
Researchers found the proteins and peptides inside venom can attach to cancer cells that promote tumor growth while not harming the surrounding healthy cells. The side effects of the toxins eliminate or reduce unwanted reactions, such as damages to the heart muscles, nerve cells, clotting, or even bleeding under the skin. The venom has the ability to block the growth and spread of the disease.
“We have safely used venom toxins in tiny nanometer-sized particles to treat breast cancer and melanoma cells in the laboratory,” the study’s lead author Dr. Dipanjan Pan said in a press release. “These particles, which are camouflaged from the immune system, take the toxin directly to the cancer cells, sparing normal tissue.” Pan said his team figured out a way to stop the spread of cancer by injecting patients with a substance in the venom called melittin, which makes the cancer cells stop multiplying.
Read More: Here