Marine organisms represent a vast available resource for new drugs of use in medicine. However, this exceedingly valuable natural resource has been subject to surprisingly little of the bio-organic chemical investigation necessary to discover new drugs. Fortunately, this situation is rapidly changing for the better and we hope that the survey of marine animal constituents prepared for this section will enhance progress, especially in the isolation and characterization of new marine animal antineoplastic and/or cytotoxic components. A history and rationale for this approach to developing new cancer chemotherapeutic drugs has already been provided in Volume 1 of this series.325 A recent summary of marine-organism- derived drugs for a broad range of medical problems has been made by Grant and Mackie.165 Some of the better-known clinical advances include the isolation of cephalosporin C produced by a fungus isolated from an ocean sewage outfall. A related example is the bromine-containing antifungal agent thelepin related to griseofulvin.179 The pyrrolidine derivative kainic acid obtained from the red algae Digenia simplex is being used in Japan as an effective anthelmintic for intestinal worms.417 Another interesting clinical example entails the use of tetrodotoxin as an analgesic and muscle relaxant in patients with cancer and neurogenic leprosy.318,352
KeywordsSoft Coral Marine Animal Adenine Arabinoside Valuable Natural Resource Cancer Chemotherapeutic Drug
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