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
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.
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