Monday, August 11, 2014

Bee, snake and scorpion venoms may be promising next cancer therapy

Courtesy Publications Division of the American
Chemical Society.
CANCER DIGEST – Aug. 11, 2014 – Venoms may be the newest approach to be used in targeted therapies say researchers at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

In a report presented at the 248th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS), Dipanjan Pan, Ph.D outlined
the group’s efforts of using nanotechnology to deliver bee, snake or scorpion venom directly to tumors.
The nanoparticles are loaded with the venom, and delivers it to the tumor while eluding the immune system. The venoms don’t kill the tumor, rather proteins in the venoms bind to the cancer cell membranes and block the growth and spread of the cancer. In one laboratory study using bee venom, the researchers isolated a protein in the venom called melittin that blocked the cancer cells from multiplying.

The next step in the research is to test the treatment in animals. Pan said that if those tests go well, testing in humans could begin in three to five years.

The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With more than 161,000 members, ACS is the world's largest scientific society.

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