Sharks: A Potential Source of Antiangiogenic Factors and Tumor Treatments
Since angiogenesis is a key feature of tumor growth, inhibiting this process is one way to treat cancer. Cartilage is a natural source of material with strong antiangiogenic activity. This report reviews knowledge of the anticancer properties of shark cartilage and clinical information on drugs such as neovastat and squalamine. Because their entire endoskeleton is composed of cartilage, sharks are thought to be an ideal source of angiogenic and tumor growth inhibitors. Shark cartilage extract has shown antiangiogenic and antitumor activities in animals and humans. The oral administration of cartilage extract was efficacious in reducing angiogenesis. Purified antiangiogenic factors from shark cartilage, such as U-995 and neovastat (AE-941), also showed antiangiogenic and antitumor activity. AE-941 is under phase III clinical investigation. Squalamine, a low molecular weight aminosterol, showed strong antitumor activity when combined with chemotherapeutic materials. The angiogenic tissue inhibitor of metalloprotease 3 (TIMP-3) and tumor suppressor protein (snm23) genes from shark cartilage were cloned and characterized.
KeywordsTumor Growth Tumor Suppressor Oral Administration Antitumor Activity Clinical Information
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