Dear Doctors: We heard a story on the news that bee venom can cure breast cancer. So, while bee venom has indeed shown promise in killing a range of cancer cells, a treatment based on these findings that can be used in humans will take years more study and testing. It may seem that using bee venom to fight cancer comes out of left field, but the idea actually reaches back to the dawn of medicine. In modern medicine, bee venom has become a subject of interest in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. The most abundant of these is a peptide called melittin, which is responsible for most of the medicinal effects of bee venom.