Antineoplastic Effects of Honey Bee Venom


avatar Mohammad Nabiuni 1 , * , avatar Zahra Safaeinejad 1 , avatar Kazem Parivar 1 , avatar Adeleh Divsalar 1 , avatar Zahra Nazari 1

Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Faculty of Biological Sciences, Kharazmi University, Tehran, Iran

how to cite: Nabiuni M , Safaeinejad Z, Parivar K, Divsalar A, Nazari Z. Antineoplastic Effects of Honey Bee Venom. Zahedan J Res Med Sci. 2013;15(8):e92892.


Background: Bee venom (BV), like many other complementary medicines, has been used
for thousands of years for the treatment of a range of diseases. More recently, BV is also
being considered as an effective composition for the treatment of cancer. Cancer is a major
worldwide problem. It is obvious that the identification of compounds that can activate
apoptosis could be effective on the treatment of cancer. BV is a very complicated mixture
of active peptides, enzymes, and biologically active amines. The two main components of
BV are melittin and phospholipase A2 (PLA2). Of these two components, melittin, the
major active ingredient of BV, has been identified to induce apoptosis and to possess antitumor
effects. We tried to review antineoplastic effects of BV in this study.
Materials and Methods: The related articles were derived from different data bases such
as PubMed, Elsevier Science, and Google Scholar using keywords including bee venom,
cancer, and apoptosis.
Results: According to the results of this study, BV can induce apoptosis and inhibit tumor
cell growth and metastasis. Results of in vivo experiments show that the anti-tumor effect
of the BV is highly dependent on the manner of injection as well as the distance between
the area of injection and the tumor cells.
Conclusion: The results obtained from the reported studies revealed that BV has anticancer
effects and can be used as an effective chemotherapeutic agent against tumors in
the future.


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© 2013, Zahedan Journal of Research in Medical Sciences. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License ( which permits copy and redistribute the material just in noncommercial usages, provided the original work is properly cited.