Journal of Applied Phycology

, Volume 27, Issue 5, pp 2075–2077 | Cite as

Are seaweed-derived fucoidans possible future anti-cancer agents?

  • Ray M. LowenthalEmail author
  • J. Helen Fitton
5th Congress of the International Society for Applied Phycology


Is there a role for brown macroalgae-derived fucoidan in cancer therapeutics? This review discusses the in vitro, in vivo and clinical data concerning fucoidan and cancer. Fucoidans vary according to the species from which they are derived, making direct comparisons between studies difficult. Data from in vitro studies indicate direct activity against some cancer cell lines. In vivo studies indicate cancer inhibitory activity, which may also be partly attributable to increases in innate and specific immunity. A small number of preliminary clinical studies indicate activity and should be followed up. Lastly, to date, there is no reported research into potential interactions between chemotherapy and fucoidan. Other naturally derived pharmaceuticals are known to interfere with certain forms of chemotherapy, and this should not be overlooked during the development of fucoidan.


Fucan Chemotherapy Interaction Cell lines Clinical trial 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Menzies Research InstituteUniversity of TasmaniaHobartAustralia
  2. 2.Marinova Pty. Ltd.CambridgeAustralia

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