Fucoidan As A Synergistic Anti-Cancer Agent

Fucoidan, found in many species of brown seaweed, is a complex polysaccharide. It can prevent the growth of cancer cells along with immune-modulating and antiviral effects.


Anti-Cancer Reagents:

Fucoidan’s ability to work with other anti-cancer reagents has recently been discovered. Ikeguchi et al. examined the cooperative effect of an HMW fucoidan with colorectal cancer chemotherapy tools; oxaliplatin plus 5-fluorouracil/leucovorin or irinotecan plus 5-fluorouracil/leucovorin. A liquid containing 4.05 grams of fucoidan was given to the test patients having a total amount of 150 m\L for 6 months. No side effects were shown by fucoidan and chemotherapy efficiency was compared. General fatigue was slightly decreased. The patients were followed for a time of 15 months and the survival rate of the patients who received fucoidan was longer than those of controlled participants. 

Migration Of Multiple Myeloma Cells:

The migration of multiple myeloma cells which are treated with chemotherapy drugs was affected by fucoidan. Fucoidan from Saccharina cichorioides has been found to synergize with the anti-tumor activity of low-dose resveratrol. In the colony formation assay, the colony number was reduced by 60% compared to 34% and 27% in resveratrol alone with help of fucoidan.

Fucoidan from Cladosiphon navae-caledoniae plus anti-cancer agents reduced the ERK phosphorylation in MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells compared to untreated control or fucoidan alone. Similarly, Yamasakimiyamoto et al. studied the apoptosis-inducing impact of fucoidan on MCF-7 cells. It was found that fucoidan induced the chromatin condensation of nuclear interstitial DNA. Thus, it was suggested that fucoidan can induce MCF-7 cells.

Colon Cancer:

Colon cancer is also a very common cancer in the world. Vishchuk et al. applied fucoidan to the human colon cancer DLD-1 and found that it can inhibit tumor cell multiplication by suppressing the activity of epidermal growth factors. Kim et al. studied the effects of apoptosis. They found that apoptosis of colon cancer cells induced by fucoidan is regulated by the death of receptor-mediated apoptotic pathways.

Anti-Leukemia Effect of Fucoidan:

Several types of research on the anti-leukemia effect of fucoidan achieve good results. Jin et al. studied the signaling pathway of fucoidan-mediated apoptosis. Fucoidan treatment of HL-60 cells could change the mitochondrial membrane permeability. The same research results were given in other experiments. 

Bladder Cancer:

Bladder cancer is a common type of cancer that begins in the cells of the bladder. In 2014, Hye et al. first reported the impact of fucoidan on the growth of bladder cancer cells. The increased expression of the CDK inhibitor and the dephosphorylation of pRB are due to fucoidan. This study also found the loss of MMP and the release of cytochrome c from the mitochondria to the cytoplasm

The Final Takeaway:

In summary, fucoidan has great potential in cancer treatments. More research will be conducted in the future to explore more of its mechanisms and functions in cancer treatments. In the future, fucoidan may become a favorable and natural anticancer therapeutic or auxiliary drug, opening a new direction for new anticancer drugs evolution.

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