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Can sea snails accelerate a cure for cancer?


Can sea snails accelerate a cure for cancer?

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From the ocean to the science lab, researchers are investigating whether a chemical found in sea snails may be used to tackle chemo-resistant cancers.

Australian scientists say a substance in a common sea snail egg appears to be capable of killing even some chemo-resistant cancers.
The white rock sea snail has interested researchers for several years.
In 2002, researchers from Wollongong and Southern Cross Universities reported they had isolated N-alkylisatin molecules which they believed contained the snail’s anti-cancer properties.
The snails unique properties have been exposed to laboratory grown cancer cells which were known to be resistant to chemotherapy.
Karen Perrow continues:“After 48 hours we were able to kill 100 percent of the cell population versus a commonly used anti cancer drug which only showed 10 percent reduction.”
Researchers believe the egg protecting chemical defence mechanisms are effective in laboratory conditions of killing drug resistant lymphomas and cancers of the uterus. Danielle Skropeta is a medical chemist at the University of Wollongong:
“You have to often spend years, a long time to get that sort of an increase in potency, we’re currently now at about a thousand fold increase in potency over the original natural product.”
The drug is in a pre-clinical phase which means it is still uncertain whether the cancer killing molecules these snails possess will ever be used for anything more than research.

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