European honeybee poison can be “remarkably effective” in killing hard-to-treat breast cancer cells, researchers in West Australia said.
The study, conducted by the Harry Perkins Institute for Medical Research, used the poison from 312 honey-producing bees and hummingbirds to check its anti-cancer properties, according to the German Press Agency (DPA).
The study team concluded that not only does bee poison kill the cells of negative triple breast cancer and the cells of enriched breast cancer, but it does so with a concentration that does not harm normal cells. Breast cancer accounts for between 10 and 15% of all breast cancers, according to the institute. There are currently no clinically effective targeted treatments for that type of cancer.
Siara Davy, the lead researcher, said in a post on the institute’s website on Wednesday: “The poison was very strong.” She added: “We found that two millimeters (found in bee poison) could completely destroy the cancerous cell membranes in 60 minutes.”
Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among women around the world.