High rate of bioactivity (reduction
in gross tumor size)
observed in advanced cancer patients
treated with shark cartilage material.
I. W. Lane, Ph.D.* and E. Contreras,
Seven of 9 (87%) advanced cancer
cases exhibited positive response (defined as a reduction gross tumor size)
when treated with repeated intrarectal and intravaginal suspensions of
shark cartilagenous material. During the study no other form or treatment
was employed. Clinical data (7 and 11 week) are Included, and anti- angiogenesis,
as the mode of action, is discussed. Shark cartilage, by inhibiting angiogenesis,
interferes with tumor growth. Its therapeutic potential in the management
of other angiogenesis-dependent diseases such as the spread of cancer,
the inflammation and pain or arthritis and Kaposi's sarcoma are also discussed.
J. Naturopath. Mod. 1992, (3)1: 86-88
Keywords: cancer( non-standard or
experimental treatment); natural products: shark cartilage material; anti-angiogenesis
factor; Kaposi's sarcoma
hypothesis that solid tumors are angiogenesis-dependent and that anti-angiogenesis
could be a potential therapeutic treatment was first published in 1987
by Folkman and co-authors (1). They theorized that once a tumor has formed,
every increase in tumor size must be preceded by a concurrent increase
in the blood supply network that converges on and nourishes the tumor.
Evidence was presented showing that tumors of or two cubic millimeters
(the size of a pencil point) stopped growing when separated from their
capillary bed but resumed rapid growth upon revascularization. At this
size the delivery of nutrients and the removal of waste products becomes
1988 D'Amore (2) theorized that if vascularization is to essential for
the establishment and subsequent growth of metastasis, it seems that the
inhibition of vascularization might be a method to prevent the formation
of metastasis. The need for a non or low toxicity inhibitor is essential
since administration over a prolonged period is necessary. Lee and Langer
in 1983 (3) reported that shark cartilage contains a subtance that strongly
inhibits the growth of new blood vessels toward solid tumors, thereby restricting
junior growth. The abundance of the angiogenesis inhibiting factor was,
on a pound for pound basis, one thousand times more concentrated in shark
cartilage compared to mammalian cartilage. In 1990 Moses and co-workers
(4) identified an inhibitor of neovascularization from cartilage as a macro-protein
and also in 1990 Oikawa and co-workers in Japan (5) further identified
an inhibitor or series of inhibitors in shark cartilage as guanadine extractable
protein. In 1991 Lane (6) published on shark cartilage and its medical
potential and also in 1991 a U.S. patent on the use of shark cartilage
to inhibit angiogenesis was registered (7).
1989 Atassi, at the Institute Jules Bordet (6) showed tumor mass reductions
of 36% in xenographs using orally administered shark cartilage, while tumor
mass increased by 169% in the controls. All the growth occurred in the
7 days subsequent to the establishment of the blood network, which required
about 14 days.
The opportunity to work with advanced
cancer patients using cartilagenous material as the sole treatment was
offered by the Ernesto Contreras Hospital in Tijuana, Mexico. The results
of these preliminary results after 7 and 11 weeks of treatment wherein
7 out of 8 patients all classified as stage III or IV responded via reduced
tumor size, reduced pain and improved quality of life are reported here
from the medical records of each case as prepared by Ernesto Contreras,
Jr., M.D., and his hospital staff.
advanced cancer patients were chosen, all of whom were deemed to be terminal
based in experience which predicted survival of between 3 and 6 months.
These patients were started on a shark cartilage derived material (Cartilage
Inc. Port Chester, NY) during the month of September
eight patients (7 female and 1 male) all received the shark cartilaginous
material (91% protein) at the rate of 30gm daily. The seven women received
15 gm daily rectally administered as a retention enema and 15 gms daily
as an aqueous suspension administered into the vaginal body cavity. In
the one man the 30 gm was administered as two 15 gm retention enemas. The
enemas were retained for a minimum of 30 minutes before being expelled.
The cartilage material was used as an aqueous suspension and was of a physical
size whereby a minimum of 87% passed through a # 140 mesh screen
and 66% passed through a #200 mesh screen. Fifteen grams of this material
were suspended in 200 to 250 cc of water. The particle size was designed
to allow absorption as the preformed protein or polypeptide as a suspension
and the location of administration was designed to expedite rapid absorption.
patients were seen at least every 7 days by a nurse and at least once
15 days by the co-author (E.C.). Medical charts were maintained and updated
constantly and are the basis of the results reported here.
patients were taught how to administer the retention enemas and the
cavity suspension. Plastic bags each containing 15 gm were used by the
patients in making their suspension using regular lap water.
enemas were self- administered shortly after the patient had had their
normal daily bowel movement and again just before bedtime. A reuseable
plastic bottle similar to a fleet enema bottle was used on an outpatient
basis after preliminary instructions by the medical staff.
the 8 patients, 2 had cervical cancer, locally advanced, one had a uterine
adenocarcinoma, one had a bone metastasis from a primary cervical
one had a soft tissue sarcoma, one had a large hemangioma of the vagina;
one had a peritonea] carcinoma from a primary colon cancer. one was a breast
cancer that had invaded the chest cavity. All prior treatments are listed
in the case reports. Other treatments were suspended when or before shark
cartilage therapy began.
7 weeks of shark cartilagenous material treatment results and case histories
are as follows:
48. Female. A stage III inoperable locally advanced uterine cervix cancer
with invasion to the bladder. Earlier treatment with maximum doses of radiation
had not stopped tumor growth. There was ulceration with severe pain related
to the tumor. The patient had, after 7 weeks of shark cartilage treatment,
an 80% reduction in tumor size and after 11 weeks a 100% tumor reduction
with only scar tissue remaining that could be palpitated; pain had disappeared.
A gastro-intestinal problem with no cancer or block- age developed at 11
weeks but was not cancer related.
V.J., Age 50. Female. This patient had a large vaginal hemangioma measuring
5" x 5" persistent after hysterectomy and partial vaginectomy and maximum
doses externally and intracavitory of radiation therapy. Heavy bleeding
was a life threatening complication.
size reduced 60% and bleeding was terminated at seven weeks. This case
is considered one of the most significant because of the inhibiting effect
of shark cartilage on angiogenesis. After 11 weeks the tumor size was reduced
to a 3" by 3" size with no bleeding and tumor reduction appears Io be continuing
with ongoing treatment.
G.L..Age 32. Female. Stage IV uterine cervical cancer with kidney blockage
requiring a permanent catheter in the urethra. A very advanced cachexia.
At 7 weeks tumor size had diminished 40%, the catheter was successfully
removed and was unnecessary and pain was materially reduced. The patient
started eating and was gaining weight. Improvement was both objective and
subjective. At 11 weeks tumor size was further reduced by 60%. This case
is significant since death was anticipated. With the cartilage treatment
recovery is proceeding rapidly and her pain has disappeared.
J.G., Age 32, Male. With a stage III inoperable soft tissue sarcoma covering
the entire back of the right thigh. It had partially responded to earlier
radiation therapy but was still growing. When evaluated at 7 weeks there
was no change and the result was considered negative. As a last resort
after 9 weeks of cartilage therapy, surgery was undertaken and upon opening
the sarcoma the entire center portion was gelatinous and undergoing major
necrosis. At least 60% of the tumor was dead and surgically removed. No
lung metastasis had developed as normally occurs with such cases. At 11
weeks tumor necrosis was continuing and no complications were observed.
G.V., Age 38. Female. With a stage III residual tumor after a total hysterectomy
for cervical cancer previously treated with maximum doses of internal and
external radiation therapy. She was symptomatic and in very poor general
condition and had major pain related to her cancer. After 7 weeks important
subjective improvement was seen, pain had disappeared, and she was practically
asymptomatic. The patient elected to stop the treatment at 7 weeks and
at II weeks tumors had reappeared in both lungs. Cartilage treatment has
B.S., Age 62. Female. Is a stage III patient with a bone metastasis to
the right sacroiliac region from a previously treated uterine cervix cancer.
This metastasis developed on a previously radiated area. 3000 Cgy of Cobalt
therapy was delivered and the cartilage therapy started. At 7 weeks there
was 80% reduction of the tumor and pain had largely disappeared. At 11
weeks the tumor had completely regressed and the patient was considered
G.V., Age 45. Female. Stage IV with a bilateral breast cancer with skin
and chest wall invasion. No response at 7 weeks was observed from the cartilage
therapy and treatment was stopped at that time.
M.T., Age 36. Female. Stage IV with a peritoneal carcinomatosis from a
primary colon career, persistent after an exploratory laparatomy which
confirmed the diagnosis. The patient was considered inoperable. After 7
weeks on cartilage therapy the patient developed an abdominal wall abscess
which required a second laparatomy during which 80% of the tumor was found
gelatinized and removed. At 11 weeks the patient was tumor free. This case
is considered a "miracle"since death is common with this diagnosis.
reports of Folkman (1) and D'Amore (2) have theorized that by inhibiting
angiogenesis one can control the spread of metastasis. lane (6) reports
on a variety of therapeutic benefits of shark cartilage in, various mammals.
Populations of mice, dogs and humans all suffering from severe osteoarthritis
experienced increased mobility and decreased pain due to the anti-inflammatory
effects of shark cartilage. Xenographs were used to further show cessation
of experimentally induced melanoma growth in nude mice.
case reports on Mexican charity patients, all of whom were given 30 gm
daily of a concentrated shark cartilagenous material as the only treatment
showed that 7 out of 8 (87%) responded in a highly significant way to the
treatment with shark cartilage. It is theorized that the mode of action
on stopping tumor growth and bringing about major tumor necrosis was angiogenesis
inhibition caused by a large protein molecule identified by Moses
et al. (4) and Oikawa et al. (5) as one or more protein molecules found
abundantly natural shark cartilagenous material.
responses in 7 of 8 advanced cancer patients, though preliminary and on
a limited number of patients, are considered highly significant and confirmatory
work is now underway in Germany (12 patients) and New York (2 patients).
work in Mexico continues. Other types of cancerous tumors utilizing shark
cartilage as the only treatment include lung, renal, colon,
breast, pancreatic and prostate cancers. Very preliminary results suggest
that rectal administration is more effective than oral administration and
most of the re- search is now being conducted rectally with limited oral
administration for comparison.
toxic effects have been reported with shark cartilage at all levels of
use including the 30 gm daily used as herein reported. This is supported
by the years of experience covered by the wide use of shark cartilage in
the form of shark fin soup consumed by the Chinese for ever 100 years and
earlier use in the treatment of inflammation and pain of arthritis with
dogs and humans.
experimental results discussed here and the theories reviewed in the introduction
suggest a correlation between blood vessel development and tumor growth.
Earlier work reported by Lane (6) also suggests a correlation between the
pain of arthritis (inflammation), angiogenesis and immune stimulation by
the mucopolysaccharides in shark cartilage, working synergistically.
It is also suggested
that the tumor necrosis or regression reported here is achieved by inhibiting
not only new blood vessel development needed to support tumor growth but
by inhibiting the development of replacement blood vessels needed for the
fragile blood vessels associated with tumors which are constantly breaking
down. By inhibiting the development of a replacement blood network, the
existing tumor is theoretically forced Io necroses The results herein reported
suggest such action.
results of case 2, (V.J.) with a 5" x 5" vaginal hemangioma, the size of
a large grapefruit reducing to 3"x 3", the size of an orange, with complete
cessation of bleeding, is probably the best direct example of angiogenesis
work about to start with a model of Karposi's Sarcoma with the National
Cancer Institute (NCI) in Bethesda, Maryland, will hopefully add to this
growing pool of information. The rationale for this study is that angiogenesis
inhibition would stop the development of endothial cells needed to form
the walls of blood vessels or the walls of a Karposi's sarcoma lesion.
cancer and the spread of metastasis, as well as inflammation and the pain
of arthritis, have now been shown by preliminary work to be significantly
helped through the administration of natural shark cartilage, one can also
assume that other angiogenic maladies like psoriasis, diabetic retinopathy,
neovascular glaucoma and Karposi's sarcoma may be helped in a similar manner.
By either a rectal or oral administration a systemic rather than a local
treatment is induced. Thus, utilizing shark cartilage for one malady, other
angiogenesis dependent maladies may be automatically treated or prevented.
Diseases involving angiogenesis often occur in older patients. Research
on shark cartilage is particularly appropriate today as our population
No research has
been done on the preventive benefits of shark cartilage. The only observations
have been with a number of women who have been on 7 gms of shark cartilage
daily for 3 years following mastectomies or lumpectomies and who have shown
no reoccurrence of breast cancer. These limited observations are encouraging
since the odds favor a reoccurrence.
but significant results (87%) with advanced cancer patients using shark
cartilagenous material as the only treatment show major promise. Additional
critical trials are underway or starting. Shark cartilage is a non toxic,
natural product. It probably can be used as an adjunct to other forms of
treatment such as chemotherapy, surgery and radiation. Shark cartilage
functions as an angiogenesis inhibitor with a novel mode of action and
can therefore be used in acomplimentary manner to other widely used and
who have recently suffered a heart attack, pregnant women and those recently
recovering from deep surgery all need angiogenesis for a period of 1 -
3 months and should not be taking shark cartilage during that time. Adults
normally have their blind network in place and will only experience rapid
and new angiogenesis if a serious condition like cancer develops.
J, Klagsburn M Angiogenic Factors. Science, 1987 442-447
PA. Anti- angiogenesis as a strategy for antimetastasis Seminars in Thrombosis
and Homeostasis, 1988, 14 73-78
A., Langer, R. Shark cartilage contains inhibitors of tumor angiogenesis.
Science 1983, 221 1185-1187
Moses MA, Sudhalter J, Langer R. Identification of an inhibitor of neovascularization
from cartilage. Science 1990, 248 1408-1410
T., Ashino-Fuse, Shimamura, Korde and Iwaguchi: A novel angiogenic inhibitor
derived from Japanese shark cartilage. Cancer Letters. 1990, 51; 181-186
IW. Shark cartilage: Its potential medical applications. Journal of Advancement
in Medicine. 1991,4(4) 263-271
IW. US Patent #5, 075 112, 1991. Method of and dosage unit for inhibiting
angiogenesis or vascularization in an animal using shark cartilage.
to Shark Cartilage index
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