Wasp’s venom kills cancer cells without harming normal cells

Brazilian wasp’s venom contains special chemicals able to eliminate and completely kill cancer and bacterial cells.

The “Brazilian wasp” is one of the best aggressive species  of social wasps on the planet, however, their venom can do something that someone would call “a miracle”.

Polybia paulista is a species of eusocial wasp occurring in Brazil. It’s venom contains a molecule called “MP1”.

MP1 kills cancer cells by creating holes on their lipid membrane. This causes molecules crucial for cancer cell survival to leak out, that kills cancer cells in just a few seconds. Note that MP1 can also kill bacterial cells.

MP1 is selectively killing the cancer cells without harming the normal cells at all. However, more studies are still needed on order to explore in more depth the potential of the MP1 as a cancer treatment drug.

Cancer therapies that attack the lipid composition of the cell membrane would be an entirely new class of anticancer drugs, and would enable a possible treatment for cancer in general.

This could be the start of a age in medicine, where new combination therapies where multiple drugs are used simultaneously to treat cancer.

If everything goes well, we may experience the first cancer treatment, by attacking different parts of the cancer cells at the same time.

However, this isn’t the first venom being explored as a potential cancer drug. Scorpion venom has been gaining interest as a source of new drugs that contain a mixture of biological chemicals called peptides.

Some peptides are known to trigger cell death by forming pores in biological membranes. Cell death can be useful if we are able to target tumour cells to auto-destruct.

These toxins can have very potent effects, one particular small peptide known as TsAP-1 isolated from the Brazilian yellow scorpion, also known as Tityus serrulatus has both anti-microbial and anti-cancer properties.

Experiments show that some of these substances have the ability to blind selectively to cancer cells and inhibit their growth.