Indonesian Scientists to Develop Marine Biota Based Cancer Cure

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Photo: Purningsih

Jakarta (Greeners) – A senior scientists said that Indonesia Institute of Sciences, or LIPI, is currently developing sponge, sea cucumber, seaweed, and other marine organisms for cancer cure.

Based Basic Health Research of Ministry of Health, cancer prevalent has been increasing from 1.4 percent in 2013 to 1.8 percent in 2018.

However, only 80 percent of cancer cure medicines available are made of natural ingredients or synthetics since 1980s.

Ratih Pangestuti of Oceanography Research Center of LIPI, said that Indonesian waters have rich marine biodiversity, hence, the institute is committed to research and develop active ingredients from marine organisms as cancer cure, food resources to prevent cancer.

“Since 2004, we have developed marine biota such as sponge, seaweed, and sea cucumber for cancer cure. These marine organisms have bio-active chemicals that can be developed as candidates for cancer cure agents with curative ability to cure and prevent cancer,” said Pangestuti, in Jakarta, on Monday (04/02/2019).

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Furthermore, she said that marine biota for cancer cure are sponge and sea cucumber, meanwhile seaweed can be used to prevent cancer which also can be used as food to improve body resilience and reduce risks for diseases, such as cancer.

“So, from marine biota we researched, active chemicals, including Lissoclinum patella, Oxycoryna fascicularis, Didemnum molle, Botryllus schlosseri, Spheciospongia inconstan, Melophlus sarasironum, Oceanapia amboinensis, Biemna sp, Axinella sp, Haliclona (Gellius) sp, and Lamellodysidea herbaceae, have potentials as cancer cure,” she said.

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Currently, the development is still in pre-clinical tests. To support the research, LIPI is cooperating with Spanish pharmacy company, Pharma Mar.

“This marine biota based cancer cure is not marketable yet as it is still in pre clinical trials and it will require five to 10 years of research. Hence, to speed up this research, we need the support from local pharmacy, state-owned companies or government. From previous cases, there were agreements but failed due to unfitting clauses and couldn’t reach the middle way,” she said.

The research, she added, needs long time because it needs to follow the procedure, starting from ingredients preparation, extraction and active chemical identification. In addition, it needs to pass invitro activity tests using cancer culture cell, DNA, to pre-clinical and clinical invivo activity tests.

“The research requires lots of funding, so we are hoping for interested pharmacy companies of state-owned companies working together to develop this marine biota based cancer cure,” she said.

Reports by Dewi Purningsih