How new marine drug compounds specifically target cancer cells
A common Australian sea snail has been identified as a source of interesting anti-cancer drug lead compounds. In this project we will test the snail compounds, and related compounds synthesized in the laboratory, against estrogen sensitive cancers. We aim to find out how the anti-cancer agents kill breast cancer cells by collecting all the ‘message’ molecules that the cancer cells make in response to the anticancer agents. This will allow us to identify the specific gene targets that initiate the process of cell death and provide data to design a clinical (human) trial.
What we aim to achieve
We aim to adapt a well-established cell culture model (the ‘E-screen’) for anti-cancer screening in estrogen sensitive cancer cell lines (the Cancer E-Screen). This will enable us to assess the impact of estrogen on the breast cancer cells, which make them divide and grow in culture, in the same sort of way that they do in a woman with cancer. This project will provide the foundation for future development of the snail compounds as therapeutic drugs for the treatment of estrogen sensitive breast cancer.