Researchers at the University of Illinois believe that they have discovered a way to stop cancer cell growth.
The claim was published in a paper presented at the American Chemical Society conference this week.
Although the researcher is in very early stages, success is anticipated. In lab tests, the technique was able to stop breast cancer and melanoma cell growth.
The technique uses nanotechnology to deliver a synthesized element similar to the to the venom found in bees, snakes and scorpions.
According to ancient texts, doctors have used venom to treat aliments for years.
In 14 BC, the Greek writer Pliny the Elder wrote about the use of bee venom as a cure for baldness. Emperor Charlemagne’s gout in the 700 was treated by beestings. Frog venom was regularly used to fight liver, lung, colon and pancreatic cancer in traditional Chinese medicine. Alternative doctors in Cube have used scorpion venom to fight brain tumors.
Unfortunately, there are general issues with injecting patients with venom. Beestings, for example, hurt and become inflamed in addition to destroying cell membranes. Beestings can also cause blood clots, damage the heart muscle and hurt healthy nerve cells.
Researchers believe that the properties in venom that destroy cancer cells can have the same effect on healthy cells. Similar to chemotherapy, the venom can cause cell damage and painful side effects.
However, the study has successfully developed a technique to separate out the important proteins and peptides in the venom so they can be used to stop cancer cell growth. The researchers were also able to synthesize these helpful cells.
According to the lead author of the study, since the chemical is synthetic, there is no ambiguity in what the substance contains.
The synthetic material is then delivered to the cancer cells using nanotechnology. Once attached to the cancer cells, these nanoparticles with the synthesized venom can either slow down or stop cancer cell growth and may ultimately stop the cancer from spreading.