Bee Venom

Bee Venom

"Melittin is the main active component of bee venom. Percentage level of its contents in bee venom is 50-60%. Melittin provides very strong anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial effect. Scienticts at Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization of Molecular Science use melittin to develop cancer treatments that should have fewer side effects than other drugs used to fight the disease."



Bee venom has been used as a folk remedy for everything from rheumatoid arthritis to asthma to multiple sclerosis (where it's recently attracted formal research attention). Now an Australian researcher has found it may be valuable in treating cancer as well.

Conventional chemotherapy agents kill cells indiscriminately, but bee venom, when chemically linked to tumor-targeted monoclonal antibodies, can "rapidly home in on and kill cancer cells without damaging other cells," says researcher Robert Raison, Ph.D., head of the pathology and immunology department at the University of Technology in Sydney.
In test-tube studies, a protein called melittin, which makes up nearly half of a honeybee's poison, killed tumor cells by breaking down their outer membrane, "causing them to burst," Raison says. He's hopeful the antibody-melittin combo, called an immunotoxin, can be readied for clinical trials by 1999.

By M.D. Beckman

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