A golf-sized green sponge discovered more than a decade ago in deep, icy waters off the coast of Alaska is showing promise as a treatment for pancreatic and ovariancancer.
Scientists say a molecule from the sponge selectively killed malignant cells in both types of diseases in laboratory tests.
The discovery came after researchers spent the last two decades researching natural products that could be used for drugs.
‘This is big news, because there are currently few treatments for this type of cancer [pancreatic],’ Dr Douglas DeMaster, science director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) told the Detroit Free Press.
NOAA has partnered with the Henry Ford Cancer Institute in Detroit and the Medical University of South Carolina to study the sponge.