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Cancer Health Center

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Cartilage (Bovine and Shark) (PDQ®): Complementary and alternative medicine - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Human / Clinical Studies


Aqueous Extracts of Cartilage

In the phase II trial,[2] Catrix was administered by subcutaneous injection only. All patients in this trial had progressive disease following radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy. Identical individual doses of Catrix were administered to each patient, but the duration of treatment and the total delivered dose varied because of disease progression or death. The minimum duration of Catrix treatment in this study was 4 weeks. One patient (with metastatic renal cell carcinoma) reportedly had a complete response that lasted more than 39 weeks. The remaining eight patients did not respond to Catrix treatment. The researchers in this trial also investigated whether Catrix had an effect on immune system function in these patients. No consistent trend or change in the numbers, percentages, or ratios of white blood cells (i.e., total lymphocyte counts, total T cell counts, total B cell counts, percentage of T cells, percentage of B cells, and ratio of helper T cells to cytotoxic T cells) was observed, though increased numbers of T cells were found in three patients.

The safety and the efficacy of AE-941/Neovastat, the previously mentioned aqueous extract of shark cartilage, has also been examined in clinical studies.[9,10,11,15,17] It has been reported that AE-941/Neovastat has little toxicity.[10,11,15] In addition, there is evidence from a randomized clinical trial that examined the effect of AE-941/Neovastat on angiogenesis associated with surgical wound repair that this product contains at least one antiangiogenic component that is orally bioavailable.[17]

AE-941/Neovastat was administered to 331 patients with advanced solid tumors (including lung, prostate, breast, and kidney tumors) in two phase I/II trials.[10] The results of these trials, however, have not been fully reported. A retrospective analysis involving a subgroup of patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) suggests that AE-941/Neovastat is able to lengthen the survival of patients with this disease.[10] Furthermore, in a prospective analysis involving 22 patients with refractory renal cell carcinoma, survival was longer in patients treated with 240 mL /day AE-941/Neovastat than in patients treated with only 60 mL/day.[7,10,16]

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