The effect of shark cartilage extracts on the growth and metastatic spread of the SCCVII carcinoma

Acta Oncol. 1998;37(5):441-5. doi: 10.1080/028418698430386.


This study was designed to investigate the potential of shark cartilage extracts to inhibit the growth and metastatic spread of a murine solid tumour. The SCCVII carcinoma, implanted in the right rear foot of C3H mice, was used. Following tumour implantation, two different commercially available extracts of shark cartilage (Sharkilage and MIA Shark Powder) were dissolved in water and orally administered to the mice at doses that ranged from 5 to 100 mg per mouse. These injections were repeated on a daily basis for up to 25 days post-implantation of the primary tumour. Compared to non-drug-treated animals, daily administration of the shark cartilage extracts did not show any adverse toxicity (as measured by changes in body weight and lethality). More importantly, none of the shark cartilage doses tested had any retarding effect on the growth of the primary tumour, nor did they inhibit the development of metastases seen in the lungs of the tumour-bearing mice at autopsy. In conclusion, our results offer no support for the proposed use of shark cartilage extracts as an anti-cancer therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Carcinoma / drug therapy*
  • Carcinoma / secondary
  • Cartilage*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Lung Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Lung Neoplasms / secondary
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C3H
  • Neoplasm Metastasis / prevention & control
  • Neoplasm Transplantation
  • Sharks*


  • Antineoplastic Agents