Bee venom can tell tumors to buzz off

Attention bee lovers and haters alike; researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, MO have found a worthwhile product of bee venom.

The researchers altered melitten, a protein in bee venom, and inserted it into liposomes carrying drugs or dyes to treat or diagnose cancer. It was very effective in attaching to various therapeutic compounds to enhance drug therapy with no harmful side-effects. Not even a little sting.

"This type of transporter agent may help in the design and use of more personalized treatment regimens that can be selectively targeted to tumors and other diseases," said Samuel A. Wickline, a researcher at the Consortium for Translational Research in Advanced Imaging and Nanomedicine (C-TRAIN) at Washington University.

The research has been published in the August 2010 print issue of the FASEB Journal.

- read the FASEB release