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Marine sponges

Natural compound in marine sponges could halt cancer metastasis

Wednesday, March 03, 2010 by: S. L. Baker, features writer
Tags: marine sponges, cancer, health news

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(NaturalNews) A research team at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research has discovered a natural compound found in marine sponges that reduces the movement of cancer cells. This could be an important breakthrough in stopping the often deadly spread of cancer throughout the body -- a process known as metastasis. What's more, the compound (dubbed sceptrin) is virtually non-toxic.

The research, just published in the American Chemical Society (ACS) journal Chemical Biology, was headed by Sanford-Burnham scientist Kristiina Vuori, M.D., PhD, in collaboration with Phil S. Baran, Ph.D., of the Scripps Research Institute. The scientists tested the impact of sceptrin on multiple tumor cell types, including cervical, breast and lung cancer cells.

To encourage cancer cells to behave like those that spread in the body, the researchers cultured cancer cells with growth factor to stimulate their ability to move. The cells were then treated with varying amounts of sceptrin. The results? Remarkably, the sponge compound restricted cancer movement in all the cancer cell lines.

Sceptrin's effectiveness in halting cancer cell movement was found to become stronger in increased concentrations. Additional tests revealed that the compound has the ability to put the brakes on malignant cell mobility because it keeps the cells from contracting -- and the cells must contract in order to travel throughout the body.

The sceptrin research is significant because currently there is little that can be done to prevent metastatic cancer. When cancerous cells break away from a malignant tumor, they move through the bloodstream or lymph system and travel to other parts of the body, ending up in any organ or tissue. According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the most common sites of metastasis are the lungs, bones, brain and liver.

Regular readers of NaturalNews will recognize that the sceptrin study is another step toward proving scientifically that there are effective natural therapies for cancer. For example, researchers have found that mango fruit halts the growth of breast and colon cancer cells (https://www.naturalnews.com/027992_mango_brst...) and tumeric and black pepper may not only prevent certain cancers but may also be helpful in treating malignant tumors (https://www.naturalnews.com/027831_turmeric_p...).

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