The venom of the Brazilian wasps could be used to fight cancer, believe the scientists who have found that it can specifically destroy cancer cells.
According to the lab test, toxin kills cancer cells while healthy cells remain intact, the BBC reported.
A team of researches from the Brazilian University, says that the experimental drug binds to the tumor cells and causes the loss of key molecules.
The research is at an early stage and needs further examination to verify if is safe for humans.
Polybia Paulista is a particularly aggressive type of wasps that are endemic in southeastern Brazil and whose stings are not welcome. Wasp sedates victims with toxin MP1 order to defend itself.
The previous studies on mice have shown that the poison can specifically attack and destroy tumor cells.
The team led by Joao Ruggiero Netto revealed the mechanism by which the poison destroys the cells. MP1 binds to fat molecules that are spread across the surface of the tumor cells, instead of being within them, and creates openings through which molecules that are essential for the functioning of cells are being lost. In healthy cells the fat molecules are within the cell, which means that they are resistant to the attacks by toxins MP1.
The findings are published in the Biophysical Journal.
Paul Beales, a scientist from the University of Leeds, said that to cure cancer by attacking the fat molecules in the cancer infected cells represents a completely new type of tumor treatment. He adds that the development of this method of treatment allowed them to combine it with other treatmants, and thus could lead to the effective treatment of cancer.