CHAMPAIGN, Il - Scientists say initial trials show toxins in the venom can attack cancer and stops the out-of control growth of the cells.
Lead researcher Dipanjan Pan from the University of Illinois told CNN his team is working to eliminate the toxin’s bad side effects like blood clots, swelling, and heart damage.
They’re building their drug by putting the element from bee toxin, melittin, into a man-made substance.
"These particles, which are camouflaged from the immune system, take the toxin directly to the cancer cells, sparing normal tissue," he says.
That would allow the drug to target the cancer while ignoring healthy cells.
Doctors think the venom from snakes, and scorpions may have the same effect.
Trials will soon begin on rats and pigs with human tests still up to five years away.