Buzz surrounds venom in cancer research

Bee venom might be just what the doctor ordered to fight cancer.

Research published in the FASEB Journal's current issue demonstrates that a key ingredient in the toxic venom released during bee stings, when modified, can be used as a "transporter agent" to more effectively deliver drugs or diagnostic dyes to identify and fight tumors.

A researcher for the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis is quoted on FierceBiotech.com as saying the peptide melittin found in bee venom also may be key to designing revolutionary treatments in such other areas as arthritis, cardiovascular illness and infectious diseases.

- Lee Howard

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