The search for a cure for cancer has taken researchers to some interesting places, including the bottom of the ocean. In 2016, it was reported that the Caribbean sea cucumber contains an active agent called trabectedin that may be effective in fighting mesothelioma. Researchers have since discovered the cancer-killing properties of the deep-sea Alaska green sponge, which may be the key to combating aggressive cancers such as mesothelioma.
Harnessing marine life to combat disease is not a new concept; researchers at the Medical University of South Carolina have been developing life-saving drugs containing marine elements for almost two decades. Also known as Latrunculia austini, the Alaska green sponge was discovered in 2005 by a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) scientist. Its unique chemical properties have piqued the interest of researchers around the world, and now it seems a link has been found between the sponge and fighting cancer.
Sea Sponge Kills Pancreatic Cancer Cells
Researchers at the Henry Ford Cancer Institute have experimented with green sponge cells, which have demonstrated a unique ability to fight pancreatic cancer. Unable to escape from its predators, the sponge has developed a defense mechanism that allows it to release thousands of powerful chemical compounds. These chemicals have proven effective in killing pancreatic cancer cells, which are notoriously resistant to chemotherapy.
There are practical concerns with using the Alaska sea sponge; it is found in hard-to-reach, cold, dark and dangerous depths, making it difficult to harvest. Researchers are hopeful that the promising results will lead others to take an interest. The research is still in its initial stages, and there is considerable work to be done before this therapy might be made available to patients. If it works, however, it could be a transformational discovery for those suffering from rare cancers.
New Treatments Needed for Rare Cancers Such as Mesothelioma
Pancreatic cancer and mesothelioma are fundamentally different diseases, but they share some traits: both diseases are resistant to many common cancer treatments, and consequently have low survival rates. Mesothelioma is a rare and deadly form of cancer infecting the lining of the lungs, heart, and chest cavity. It is caused by exposure to asbestos; the disease can lay dormant in the body for decades following the initial asbestos exposure, but once diagnosed, patients are left with a short life expectancy. Exploring novel treatment methods – which may soon include Alaska green sponges – is essential to finding a cure for this devastating disease.
South Jersey Mesothelioma Lawyers at Shein Law Fight for Rights of Asbestos Exposure Victims
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease, call the South Jersey mesothelioma lawyers at Shein Law. Our knowledgeable, experienced lawyers will thoroughly review the facts of your case to determine who is at fault for your asbestos exposure and hold them accountable. We are committed to getting you the compensation you deserve so you can focus on your recovery. With offices conveniently located in Pennsauken and Philadelphia, we help asbestos exposure victims throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Call us today at 1-877-SHEINLAW (743-4652) or contact us online to review your case with a skilled member of our legal team.