Scientists are optimistic about attacking cancer cells with the poisonous venoms most of us desperately try to avoid. Dr. Dipanjan Pan led a team at the University of Illinois that has successfully and safely targeted breast cancer and melanoma cells in a lab.
While being able to kill cancer cells and prevent them from multiplying is good news by itself, another important breakthrough is Dr Pan’s success at concentrating the focus of scorpion, snake, and bee venom on the cancer cells without destroying healthy cells and ultimately harming the patient.
Dr. Pan and his team were able to “camouflage” the venom in a tiny particle. This takes the venom directly to the targeted cancer cells without allowing it to leak into the bloodstream of patients and damage the heart, nerve cells, or other healthy tissue.
The researchers discovered that venom from snakes, scorpions, and bees contain peptides and proteins that will attach to cancer cell walls. They also verified that bee venom contains a substance called melittin that prevents cancer cells from spreading. Bees produce such a small amount of venom that extracting a sufficient amount of the substance from them for laboratory testing or clinical use is impractical. The team developed a way to synthesize the melittin.
Dr. Pan stressed that, while the venom from snakes and scorpions can be deadly, his team is able to control the potency and utilize them as a possible cancer treatment. The positive results from cloaking these venoms in nanoparticles could lead to human trials in then next three to five years.
Cancer is a disease of the physical body, but it permeates every aspect of life, coloring the way we think and feel and even how we relate to ourselves and others. Many cancer patients are so overwhelmed by the burden of cancer that they feel as if they have lost control not only of their health and body but of life itself.
Conventional cancer treatments that focus on treating the body fail to address the emotional, psychological and what some might call the spiritual forces that can have an even greater impact than physical health on an individual’s ability to fight and survive cancer. Alternative cancer treatment centers like Issels Integrative Oncology recognize the power of the mind-body connection to promote healing.
Issels cancer treatment teams take a holistic approach to cancer treatment that nurtures the complete individual. We employ advanced science-based treatment protocols to address the physical aspects of cancer while building up the individual’s immune system and nurturing each patient’s emotional health. We want our patients to leave us with a renewed sense of well-being and hope so they can focus on healing.
Employing the creative arts to aid cancer patients in expressing their emotions and conquering their fear of cancer is one of the alternative cancer therapies that are finding success in helping cancer patients strengthen the mind-body connection that promotes wellness. The use of art, dance, drama, music and writing therapy has been remarkably successful in helping cancer patients manage the stress of treatment, achieve a more positive attitude about cancer outcomes, achieve a higher state of wellness that promotes recovery and increase post-cancer life expectancy.