Greek scientists from the University of Patras are making a significant effort to help in the battle against cancer by developing an innovative drug. The research team has been working at the Pharmaceutical Chemistry Laboratory of the Department of Pharmacy at the University of Patras, led by associate professor Plato Magriotis.
The team aims to create a new potent anti-cancer drug that will specialize in the treatment of sarcoma, melanoma, ovarian cancer, breast, kidney, prostate and non-microcell lung cancer.
The idea behind the drug’s composition is based on a substance isolated about 48 years ago from a Caribbean marine microorganism. The substance ejected by Ecteinascidia turbinate (Et-743) is one of the most potent cytotoxins and its antineoplastic activity is much greater than that of known antitumor drugs.
Et-743 is the first marine natural anti-cancer drug and was approved by the European Union in 2007.
According to professor Magriotis, Et-743 causes damage to the cancer cells’ DNA and prohibits them from repairing the damage, thus further prolonging the destruction of cancer cells.
“We are trying to do something different and innovative compared to what has already been done in the past and create a drug with simpler structure than that of Et-743 that will hopefully be adequate for most types of cancer. I am optimistic. This is my life’s dream. The research is on track and hopefully we will be successful fairly soon,” noted the professor.