Mention coral reefs and there’s a good chance that most people will think of clownfish and bright pink sea fans. But there’s a contingent out there that sees something else: hope. The hope that new compounds can be uncovered in the world’s reefs that can treat people with cancer, diabetes, AIDS, heart disease and other illnesses.
But hope isn't all they're counting on. Cancer fighting drugs have already been derived from coral reefs. The drug Ara-C, for example, is the backbone of chemotherapy for leukemia and lymphoma. That was derived from a sea sponge in the Caribbean.
In the video above, Arden O'Conner discusses how medicine derived from coral reefs helped save her life.
Find out why doctors, researchers and other cancer survivors view coral reefs as essential sources of medicine for everything from cancer, to strokes and Alzheimer's disease:
Coral Reefs Can Save Lives: A Survivor's Story
Save the Reefs to Save Lives: Dr. Bruce Chabner, Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Director of Clinical Research at Massachusetts General Hospital’s Cancer Center
The Nature of Cancer: Oregon oncologist Dr. Daniel Gruenberg