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Breaking News: Research Reveals Brazilian Wasp Venom Targets Cancer Cells

Patients should stay informed concerning relevant cancer therapies. There are three main types of cancer treatments, including chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery. The utilization of drugs or medications in the battle against cancer is known as chemotherapy. A chemotherapy cocktail is a mixture of agents combined to combat cancer. New research reveals Brazilian wasp venom may soon be utilized in chemotherapy cocktails to target cancer cells.

Research:  Paul A. Beales, Simon D. Connell, Natalia Bueno Leite, Joao Ruggiero Neto, Mario Sergio Palma and Anders Aufderhorst-Roberts published an article in the Biophysical Journal, detailing the team’s research on the anti-cancer properties of Brazilian wasp venom. The research team from Sao Paulo State University in Brazil, in addition to research from the University of Leeds in England, concentrated efforts on prostate, bladder, and drug-resistant leukemia cancer cells. The venom had previously been found to show anti-cancer properties. The discovery relates to the selectivity of the peptide mechanism to avoid healthy cells.

Targeted Treatment:  The Brazilian wasp venom has been proven to destroy cancer cells. Polybia-MP1 is a toxin in the venom of the wasp that has been discovered to target cancer cells. The Polybia-MP1 does not harm the patient’s healthy cells. Weak points are created through the abnormal distribution of fats and lipids in the membranes of cancer cells, allowing the toxin entry. The interaction with the lipids allows RNA, protein and other molecules to escape. Function in the cancer cell abruptly halts with the exit of the molecules from the cancer cells.

New Class of Anti-Cancer Drugs:  A lipid attacking anti-cancer drug is an innovative breakthrough in the war against cancer. This new class of drug could potentially be utilized in combination therapies to simultaneously target various parts of the cancer cell.

Does Not Harm Healthy Cells:  The inner layer of healthy cells contains phospholipids, known as phosphatidylserine (PS) and phosphatidylethanolamine (PE). In cancer cells, these phospholipids are located on the outer side. The location of lipids in healthy cells halts the Polybia-MP1from damaging these cells.

Conclusion:  Patients and physicians should stay abreast as research information becomes available concerning relevant therapies. Research on the Brazilian wasp venom reveals a new class of drugs in the on-going battle against cancer. This new class of drugs allow cancer cells to be targeted simultaneously by a combination of therapies while resulting in no harm to healthy cells.

(Photo is courtesy of The Predator as uploaded by Mark Robinson at Flickr’s Creative Commons.)

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