Skip to content

Cancer Health Center

Font Size

General Information

    Bovine (cow) cartilage and shark cartilage have been investigated as treatments for people with cancer, psoriasis, arthritis, and a number of other medical conditions for more than 30 years.[1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13] Reviewed in [14,15,16,17,18,19,20] At least some of the interest in cartilage as a treatment for people with cancer arose from the mistaken belief that sharks, whose skeletons are made primarily of cartilage, are not affected by this disease. Reviewed in [16,21,22] Although reports of malignant tumors in sharks are rare, a variety of cancers have been detected in these animals. Reviewed in [21,22,23,24] Nonetheless, several substances that have antitumor activity have been identified in cartilage.[25,26,27,28,29,30,31,32,33,34,35,36,37,38,39,40,41,42,43,44,45,46,47] Reviewed in [2,3,4,7,15,16,17,18,19,20,46,48,49,50] More than half a dozen clinical studies of cartilage as a treatment for people with cancer have already been conducted.[2,3,4,7,8,9,50,51] Reviewed in [6,15,16,17,18,19] Additional clinical studies, MDA-ID-99303 and AETERNA-AE-MM-00-02 have been completed. Reviewed in [6,15,51]

    The absence of blood vessels in cartilage led to the hypothesis that cartilage cells (also known as chondrocytes) produce one or more substances that inhibit blood vessel formation. Reviewed in [28,29,30,31,36,37,49] The formation of new blood vessels or angiogenesis is necessary for tumors to grow larger than a few millimeters in diameter (i.e., larger than approximately 100,000 to 1,000,000 cells) because tumors, like normal tissues, must obtain most of their oxygen and nutrients from blood. Reviewed in [34,35,42,52,53,54,55] A developing tumor, therefore, cannot continue to grow unless it establishes connections to the circulatory system of its host. It has been reported that tumors can initiate the process of angiogenesis when they contain as few as 100 cells.[54] Inhibition of angiogenesis at this early stage may, in some instances, lead to complete tumor regression.[54] The possibility that cartilage could be a source of one or more types of angiogenesis inhibitors for the treatment of cancer has prompted much research.

    Recommended Related to Cancer

    Wilms' Tumor

    Important It is possible that the main title of the report Wilms' Tumor is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.

    Read the Wilms' Tumor article > >

      1|2|3

      Today on WebMD

      Colorectal cancer cells
      A common one in both men and women.
      Lung cancer xray
      See it in pictures, plus read the facts.
       
      sauteed cherry tomatoes
      Fight cancer one plate at a time.
      Ovarian cancer illustration
      Do you know the symptoms?
       
      Jennifer Goodman Linn self-portrait
      Blog
      what is your cancer risk
      HEALTH CHECK
       
      colorectal cancer treatment advances
      Video
      breast cancer overview slideshow
      SLIDESHOW
       
      prostate cancer overview
      SLIDESHOW
      lung cancer overview slideshow
      SLIDESHOW
       
      ovarian cancer overview slideshow
      SLIDESHOW
      Actor Michael Douglas
      Article