A compound produced by sea snails is useful to combat intestinal cancer

A purple compound found in Australian sea snails could be a potential basic compound of a new cancer drug. This is what some researchers at Flinders University, Southern Cross University and Monash University in Australia say.

This compound is a secretion produced by the glands of the Australian white sea snail (Dicathasis orbit) and exhibits according to the researchers antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, but especially anti-cancer properties.

It was the same team, after 10 years of work, to discover the active substance in the secretion that could be used specifically for colon cancer, as stated by Catherine Abbott, a researcher at Flinders University and one of the authors of the study. The researchers used mass spectrometry to identify the active substance in the secretions.

This research reaffirms that natural compounds found in plants and animals can still be considered as valuable sources of medicines, as recalled by Kirsten Benkendorff, a marine scientist who participates in the research and who adds: “In this We have not only shown that a specific snail compound can prevent the formation of tumors in an intestinal cancer model, but we have also been able to use advanced technology to track the metabolism of the substance in the body. This is very important for drug development as it helps to demonstrate the absence of potentially toxic side effects.”

Now the researchers are trying to find out how this compound can be replicated efficiently in the laboratory.


Image source:

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Janice Walker

Janice Walker is a biologist (having graduated from Prescott College in 2013) and an experienced writer. She currently works as a pharmacist, contributing research and content to Home of Science during her nights and weekends. During her time at Prescott College she was an active contributor to her student journal and hopes to grow homeofscience.net up as a well established, popular science blog.
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Janice Walker