New Version of Drug from Sea Sponge May Impede Metastasis

UCF medicinal chemist Otto Phanstiel is developing a new treatment that could slow or even stop cancer cells from metastasizing, or spreading. Cancer that has metastasized causes most cancer deaths.

The team synthesized a new derivative of a compound called Motuporamine C that is extracted from a type of sea sponge. It turned out to be twice as effective as the original at blocking cell migration in a pancreatic cancer cell line they tested. “Who knows if Mother Nature made the perfect antimetastatic compound right out of the box? As medicinal chemists, we like to tinker with those molecular messages and see if we can make them better,” says Phanstiel.

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