UCLA Identifies Potential Cancer Treatment with Fewer Side Effects Than Chemotherapy

Asynthetic version of a rare toxin produced by a sea creature appears to hold promise for treating many different types of cancer while minimizing the harmful side effects of widely used chemotherapy drugs.

A study published today in the journal Science Translational Medicine describes research on a substance called diazonamide, which prevents cell division, and was isolated from a marine animal called Diazona angulata.

Led by Patrick Harran, UCLA’s Donald J. and Jane M. Cram Professor of Organic Chemistry, researchers produced a synthetic form of diazonamide that, in rodents, appears to be effective in fighting breast cancer, colon cancer and leukemia. The compound the scientists synthesized, DZ-2384, is more potent and lasts longer in the bloodstream than natural diazonamide.

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