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Common Alternative Therapies: Shark Cartilage


GMHC Treatment Issues 1993/94 Winter; 7(11/12): 23

Shark cartilage is rich in an angiogenesis inhibiting protein called Cartilage- derived Inhibitor. Angiogenesis is the process whereby new blood vessels are formed to feed cancer, particularly solid tumors, such as Kaposi's sarcoma.[1, 2] In June 1992, a small community-based study of shark cartilage as a monotherapy treatment for Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) in PWAs was begun by SEARCH Alliance in Los Angeles. Preliminary anecdotal results reported by Dr. Fleischman of the group were disappointing. Of thirteen patients, only six were evaluable at study's end. A dose of 60 grams of shark cartilage was administered by retention enema two to four times a day. This means of administering the compound proved to be impractical so patients took the same dose orally. Patients reported an "extremely foul taste" and nausea associated with therapy. There was no discernible regression of KS lesions after two to three months of follow-up.

1. Lee, A. and Langer, R. Science 221:1185�7.

2. Oikawa T, et al. Cancer Letter. 1990; 51:181�6.

3. Fleischman, E. SEARCHLIGHT March/April, 1993:2.

Copyright (c) 1993 - Gay Men's Health Crisis. All rights reserved. Noncommercial reproduction is encouraged.


Copyright © 1993 -Gay Men's Health Crisis, Publisher. All rights reserved to Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC) Treatment Issues. Reproduced with permission. Treatment Issues is published twelve times yearly by GMHC, INC. Noncommercial reproduction is encouraged. Subscription lists are kept confidential. GMHC Treatment Issues, The Tisch Building, 119 West 24th Street, New York, NY 10011 Email GMHC. Visit GMHC

Information in this article was accurate in December 1, 1993. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.