Cervical cancer was one of the most common causes of death for women in the United States until the introduction of the Pap test. With this aid of this test, many women have been able to be diagnosed and treated before cancer can fully develop or spread. However, there has not been much change in cervical cancer detection for the past 10 years.
A recent discovery by a research team at Medical University of South Carolina may change that. The researchers found that a type of sea sponge found in Indonesia produces a chemical, Manzamine A, that targets a protein found at high levels in cervical cancer and many other cancers. Manzamine A is the first potential drug to target this protein and stop it from working. The team added Manzamine A to four different cervical cancer cell lines. They found that Manzamine A stopped the cancer cells from growing and even caused some of the cells to die; however, it did not stop the growth of normal healthy cells.This is an exciting find and additional testing is ongoing.