MARINE NATURAL PRODUCTS AS ANTI-CANCER MEDICINES
Keywords:cancer, natural marine products, medicine
Cancer is the most common cause of death in most developed countries where the scientific community and health authorities are making great efforts and investing finnancial resources in developing a variety of treatments that will help deal with the disease. The development of these treatments aims to help in the treatment, i.e. removal of cancer as a disease. As one of the most specific diseases that occurs in humans, cancer is interesting for the science that has the task of discovering new antitumor agents from products of natural origin. Cytotoxic drugs are used as a systemic therapy that is the basis of many treatments with positive results in various types of cancer. But the reaction of the tumor to different chemotherapies varies. Thus side effects and phenomena can be common as a result of drug resistance.
Some species of marine flora and fauna are used to make anti-cancer drugs. Specifically, they contain the necessary components for such drugs. Marine flora and fauna are increasingly used in primary health care. They in some parts of the world have a long tradition of use for the treatment of diseases and today of course by applying special techniques for malignant diseases. Research into the use of marine flora and fauna as natural products with antitumor properties has generally resulted in the discovery of effective antitumor agents. There are potentially more marine plants and animals that possess cytotoxic activity but so far the following have been actively used: algae, sea sponges, cyanobacteria, sea snails, sharks and others.
In the last decade, the number of preclinical anticancer compounds of different marine species has been drastically increased to be applied or introduced in clinical trials. This is important and useful because in this way the field of natural seafood can be developed in the treatment of various types of cancer, obtaining effective carcinogens from molecules found in seafood, finding new mechanisms to fight cancer as well as improving existing ones.
Pharmaceutical companies, along with other scientific research factors in the field of medicine, are continuously developing skills for testing and detecting new anti-cancer compounds derived from seafood. Further research efforts to this goal will help to increase the production of compounds that are more effective in acting against cancer cells. Essential knowledge of various proliferation control mechanisms will affect a number of therapies developed on the basis of antitumor activity. The fact that some antitumor drugs are derived from marine natural products and their synthetic derivatives only confirms the importance of marine animals and plants in the prevention and treatment of cancer.