Is Venom a Cancer Cure or "Snake Oil"?

the MPR take:

Our perception of the venom from bees, snakes, and scorpions as dangerous could be changing thanks to new research that suggests it could be used in cancer treatment. Dipanjan Pan, PhD, from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and colleagues have created a synthetic version of venom commonly found in bees, snakes, and scorpions for the purpose of stopping the spread of cancer. Using nanotechnology, the venom is delivered directly to the tumor where it binds to only cancer stem cells and slows down or stops further spread of the cancer. By attacking only the cancer cells, this method preserves healthy cells which could lead to a cancer treatment without the side effects of chemotherapy. Synthetic versions of venom are necessary since real venom contains toxins that may hurt healthy cells as well as cancer cells. Future research will include synthesis of these venoms to be used in animal cancers and ultimately in humans if the trials are successful. The study results will be presented at the 248th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society.

Is Venom a  Cancer Cure or "Snake Oil"?
Is Venom a Cancer Cure or "Snake Oil"?

A scientist at the University of Illinois, Dipanjan Pan, and his team say they may have found a way to stop cancer cell growth, according to a paper presented at the American Chemical Society conference this week. Pan's technique uses nanotechnology to deliver a synthesized element similar to the venom found in bees, snakes and scorpions. It can also cause blood to clot, damage the heart muscle and hurt healthy nerve cells.

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