Cartilage (Bovine & Shark) as a Complementary Therapy for Cancer

shark cartoonCartilage is a type of tough, flexible connective tissue that forms parts of the skeleton in many animals.

Cartilage contains cells called chondrocytes, which are surrounded by collagen (a fibrous protein) and proteoglycans, which are made of protein and carbohydrate.

It was once believed that sharks, whose skeletons are made mostly from cartilage, do not develop cancer.

This caused interest in cartilage as a possible treatment for cancer. Although malignant tumours are rare in sharks, cancers have been found in these animals.


A History of the Medical Use of Bovine and Shark Cartilage

Bovine Cartilage

  • It was first reported that bovine cartilage decreased inflammation (redness, swelling, pain, and feeling of heat) in the 1960s;
  • In the 1970s, it was found that bovine cartilage contains a substance that blocks angiogenesis (the forming of new blood vessels). If blood vessel growth into a tumour can be blocked, the tumour will stop growing or shrink.
  • By the 1980s, laboratory and animal studies as well as clinical trials (research studies in people) testing bovine cartilage as a treatment for cancer were being conducted.

Shark Cartilage

Interest in using shark cartilage grew because it was believed that shark cartilage may be more active than bovine cartilage in preventing new blood vessels from being formed. Since a shark’s skeleton is made mostly of cartilage, shark cartilage is more plentiful than bovine cartilage.

  • It was first published that shark cartilage contains a substance that blocks blood vessel growth in the 1980s
  • Reports of clinical trials of shark cartilage as a treatment for cancer were published between 1998 and 2005


Cartilage Therapy as a Complementary Therapy

Cartilage from cows (bovine cartilage) and sharks have been studied as a treatment for people with cancer and other medical conditions for more than 30 years.

20100518040238There are three theories as to how cartilage acts against cancer: As cartilage is broken down by the body, it releases products that kill cancer cells. Cartilage increases the action of the body’s immune system to kill cancer cells.

Cartilage makes substances that block tumour angiogenesis (the growth of new blood vessels that feed a tumour and help it grow).

Laboratory and animal studies show that because cartilage does not contain blood vessels, cancer cannot easily grow in it.

It is suggested that a cancer treatment using cartilage may keep blood vessels from forming in a tumour, causing the tumour to stop growing or even to shrink.


Read more about how Cartilage Therapy is administered, Possible Side-effects and Risks etc., on our static Complementary & Alternative Therapies page, Cartilage (Bovine & Shark) Therapy



Please note that the Little Fighters Cancer Trust shares information regarding various types of cancer treatments on this blog merely for informational use. LFCT does not endorse or promote any specific cancer treatments – we believe that the public should be informed but that the option is theirs to take as to what treatments are to be used.

Always consult your medical practitioner prior to taking any other medication, natural or otherwise.


About LFCT

CHILDHOOD CANCER and CHILDHOOD CANCER AWARENESS Little Fighters Cancer Trust is a non-profit Childhood Cancer support organisation that offers support and aid to Children with Cancer and their families. When a child is diagnosed with cancer it affects the whole family. One of the parents, usually the mother, must give up their job to care for the child and this creates financial problems for the family. In South Africa especially the majority of these families are not well-to-do; many of them are rural. A diagnosis of cancer can wipe out any family’s finances, let alone a poor family. The costs of special medications, special diets, hospital stays, transport to and from the hospital or clinic and accommodation and food costs for the mother who spends most of the time at her child’s bedside are astronomical. These are the people and problems that fall through the cracks, and these are the people that Little Fighters Cancer Trust has pledged to help in any way possible. LFCT takes a holistic approach to assisting the Children with Cancer and their Families, with the main aim to be the preservation of individual dignity and pride. Little Fighters Cancer Trust also focuses on promotion and advocacy of National Childhood Cancer Awareness in an effort to increase awareness of Early Warning Signs of Childhood Cancer. This would result in earlier diagnosis, giving the Child with Cancer more of a chance at Treatment and Survival. See "About" for more Background info

Posted on 3 May, 2016, in Alternative Treatments, Blog, Cancer Treatments and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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