Venom Of The Brazilian Wasp Cures Cancer?
A Brazilian wasps venom contains a powerful ingredient which selectively attacks and destroys cancer cells without harming healthy cells! Could this be the breakthrough to an entirely new class of anticancer drugs? Could wasp venom become the ultimate solution for a non~aggressive cancer treatment?Is it possible to kill cancer cells without destroying your good cells by aggressive conventional chemotherapies? Apparently, scientists are very positive about this new study.
The Brazilian wasp protects itself from predators by producing venom known to contain a powerful cancer-fighting ingredient. A Biophysical Journal study reveals exactly how the venom’s toxin – called MP1 (Polybia-MP1) selectively kills cancer cells without harming normal cells. MP1 interacts with lipids that are abnormally distributed on the surface of cancer cells, creating gaping holes that allow molecules crucial for cell function to leak out. According to the scientific report, the wasp’s venom creates holes in cancer cells leaving the healthy cells alone!
A newly published study shows how Brazilian wasp venom selectively kills cancer cells without harming normal cells. The social scientists from the University of Leeds and the São Paulo State University in Brazil found that MP1 disrupts the bacterial cell membrane to act against microbial pathogens. Previously, it has been shown to inhibit the growth of prostate and bladder cancer cells as well as multi-drug-resistant leukemic cells. However, the exact way that it destroys cancer cells without harming normal cells was not known.
Co-senior study author João Ruggiero Neto of São Paulo State University in Brazil suspected that the reason might have something to do with the unique properties of cancer cell membranes. In healthy cell membranes, phospholipids called phosphatidylserine (PS) and phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) are located in the inner membrane leaflet facing the inside of the cell. But in cancer cells, PS and PE are embedded in the outer membrane leaflet facing the cell surroundings. source: http://scitechdaily.com
The researchers tested their theory by creating model cell membranes, some of which contained PE and/or PS and exposing them to MP1. In future studies, the researchers plan to alter MP1’s amino acid sequence to examine how the peptide’s structure relates to its function and further improve the peptide’s selectivity and potency for clinical purposes. This sounds all so complicated, yet very exciting and promising too.
“Understanding the mechanism of action of this peptide will help in translational studies to further assess the potential for this peptide to be used in medicine.” co-senior author Paul Beales of the University of Leeds in the UK says. “As it has been shown to be selective to cancer cells and non-toxic to normal cells in the lab, this peptide has the potential to be safe, but further work would be required to prove that.”
Scientists use venom of the Brazilian wasp Polybia Paulista to combat cancer
Scientists hope to find out more about MP1’s structure, and even modify it, in order to improve its potency and selectivity. They plan to alter its amino acid sequence to see how the toxin’s structure relates to its function. It’s also important to be sure that MP1 won’t attack healthy cells before the treatment is widely used.
Another important factor to be considered is the role of the toxin as an allergen. Even if the toxin kills cancerous cells, it could have a significant effect on the body as a whole if the patient is severely allergic to the venom. Scientists are studying how the poison of the Brazilian wasp kills the cancer cells precisely. After that must be determined if cancer patients benefit from drugs that are based on the venom of the Brazilian wasp.
For now, researchers are exploring the best ways to treat these reactions. The initial cancer treatment studies were published in the Biophysical Journal.
‘Ode to the white blood cell’
by Daisy and Jessica Mash recovering from a stem cell transplant
(kind permission of Mrs Rene Marston from Contact Magazine)
Welcome, greetings little cell!
What a wondrous sight you be.
But please go forth and multiply
For more, we need to see.
You have a busy time ahead,
To fight the nasty stuff.
So just you go and find some mates
‘Cos one ain’t quite enough!
Don your armour, raise your sword,
And into battle ride.
Show not faint heart nor weak intent
‘Cos we’re all on your side!
And the victorious may you rise
In a host who’s fit and strong.
Then send him out into the world,
He’s been abed for far too long!
He just wants healthy bits and bobs,
His arms, his legs, his hooter.
So he can get right outa here.
And ride upon his scooter!
title image credit: www.naturallifeenergy.com
Take good care of yourself!