Can MDMA analogues be used in cancer treatment?

Kristoffer de Sá Høg, Zeina Antar, Naud Megens & Nana Sønderholm

Studenteropgave: Semesterprojekt


Based on findings in the article “Redesigning the designer drug ecstasy: non-psychoactive MDMA analogues exhibiting Burkitt’s lymphoma” (J. Gordon et al., 2010) we wanted to study how MDMA worked, and how it can be used as a treatment for cancer. The study was made based on MDMA’s ability to kill Burkitt’s lymphoma cells, by stimulating serotonin release that stimulate the pro apoptotic BCL-2 proteins so the Burkitt’s lymphoma cells goes into apoptosis. Because of MDMA’s neurotoxicity and psychoactivity the study tested different MDMA analogues that ruled out neurotoxicity and psychoactivity. Furthermore they tested analogues which were more effective in killing the cancer cells, so a much lower dose was needed. The report includes background knowledge about cancer, what cancer is and does and how different cancers are treated. It will also include background knowledge about MDMA, how it works and what it does. It will describe how the analogues works and how it is related to serotonin, BCL-2 proteins and the Burkitt’s lymphoma cells. It showed that there is a good opportunity that MDMA analogues in the future can be a substitute for treatment of some cancers. If psychoactivity and neurotoxicity can be ruled out, the side effects compared to chemotherapy for example, would be almost none.

UddannelserBasis - International Naturvidenskabelig Bacheloruddannelse, (Bachelor uddannelse) Basis
Udgivelsesdato16 jan. 2012
VejledereAmalie Thit Jensen


  • cancer treatment
  • MDMA analogues