Marine Sponge Toxin Could be Key in Treating Metastatic Cancers

in Science & Tech by

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Queen’s University reported this month that a research team has discovered that a natural toxin found in ocean-dwelling marine sponges has a suppressive effects on the growth and motility of ovarian and breast cancers and could be used for the treatment of metastatic cancers.

“Cancer therapies are designed to target the Achilles’ heel of cancer cells and thereby limit tumour growth or survival,” said Dr. Andrew Craig in a university release. “However, many cancers can overcome current therapies, spread to other sites (metastasis), and this may lead to patient death. Using the toxin Mycalolide B found in marine sponges, we feel it could be a good candidate to test as an anti-metastatic cancer drug.”


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According to Dr. Craig, this new treatment could be given along with other anti-cancer drugs to help reduce the risk of cancer spreading to other areas of the body.

The research was published in Scientific Reports, a Nature publication, and is ‘supported by a grant from the Collaborative Health Research Partnerships program that is jointly funded by Canadian Institutes of Health Research and Natural Sciences an Engineering Research Council of Canada.’


Photo: John Marino (cc)