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Study: Sponges Could Help Treat Cervical Cancer

Study: Sponges Could Help Treat Cervical Cancer

Tuesday, 7 April, 2020 - 04:45
Purple vase sponges are shown in this underwater photograph taken while scuba diving at Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary, Oct. 28, 2019, off the coast of Savannah, Ga. AP.
Cairo - Hazem Badr

Researchers at the Medical University of South Carolina have found that Manzamine A, a natural product derived from sponges found in Manado Bay, Indonesia, can block the growth of cervical cancer cells. The findings suggest that Manzamine A may be used as a potential treatment for cervical cancer.


The researchers conducted lab experiments to study the compound, and announced the results in the latest issue of the Journal of Natural Products. They found that manzamine A stopped the growth of cancerous cells and killed others in four different cervical cancer cell lines.


According to the study, it targets a protein that is highly expressed in many cancer types. Computer modeling showed that Manzamine A is 10 times more potent in blocking the problematic proteins than other compounds found in the currently used drugs.


In earlier work, Hamann's group identified sponge-derived compounds effective against melanoma as well as prostate and pancreatic cancers. Manzamine A is also effective against the parasite responsible for malaria, and the new study has documented manzamine A's efficacy in blocking the growth of cervical cancer cells.


In a report published on Saturday by the website of the Medical University of South Carolina, Lead Author Mark Hamann said the researchers plan to work on proving the Manzamine A efficacy on animals before starting clinical trials dedicated for the cervical cancer treatment.


While these molecules can be synthesized in the laboratory, Hamann doesn't think that's the best process.


The American Cancer Society estimates that there will be 13,800 new diagnoses of cervical cancer and 4,290 deaths in 2020.


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