Are marine sponges going to cure cancer?

By Rebecca Priestley In Science

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7th July, 2012
A compound called pateamine A, derived from a Fiordland marine sponge, can prevent cancer-induced muscle wasting, or cachexia, say a group of Canadian researchers. Although high doses are known to be toxic, low doses of pateamine A inhibit the action of enzymes that cause muscle wasting, they reported in Nature Communications (June 12, 2012) . Cachexia often affects people with cancer and Aids. It doesn’t just affect quality of life – it’s the cause of 30% of all cancer-related deaths. ...

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