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Cartilage (Bovine and Shark) (PDQ®): Complementary and alternative medicine - Patient Information [NCI] - Overview

  • Cartilage is a type of tough, flexible connective tissue (see Question 1).
  • Cartilage from cows (bovine cartilage) and sharks has been studied as a treatment for people with cancer and other medical conditions for more than 30 years (see Question 2).
  • Laboratory and animal studies have looked at whether bovine and shark cartilage products can kill cancer cells, make the immune system more active against cancer, and prevent the body from making the new blood vessels that a tumor needs to grow (see Question 5).
  • The results have been mixed in the human studies of cartilage as a treatment for cancer reported to date (see Question 6).
  • The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved cartilage as a treatment for cancer (see Question 8).
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WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute

Last Updated: February 25, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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