Natural Compound From a Deep-Water Marine Sponge Found to Reduce Pancreatic Tumor Size

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Scientists at Florida Atlantic University’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute found that a deep-water marine sponge collected off of Fort Lauderdale’s coast contains leiodermatolide, a natural product that has the ability to inhibit the growth of cancer cells as well as block cancer cells from dividing using extremely low concentrations of the compound.

This work resulted in the award of a patent from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office protecting the use of the compound against various forms of cancer. Sea sponges are an ancient group of animals that appeared more than 600 million years ago that have many of the same genes as humans. These scientists are taking advantage of this similarity in human and sponge genomes to isolate marine natural compounds from these organisms to develop medicines useful in the treatment of human diseases such as cancer.

The researchers are expanding on their original findings, recently showing that leiodermatolide can reduce pancreatic tumor size in vivo, publishing the results of this study in the International Journal of Cancer (IJC). Read more . . .