Country for PR: Australia
Contributor: AAP Medianet International
Tuesday, December 05 2017 - 12:00
AsiaNet
Cancer Discovery in Novel Seaweed Extracts
CAMBRIDGE, Tasmania, Dec. 05, 2017 / Medianet International–AsiaNet / --

Hobart, Australia: Breakthrough research confirms two unique compounds 
extracted from seaweed have significant cancer inhibiting properties. 

A series of animal studies undertaken at the prestigious McGovern Medical 
School, University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston (UTHealth) have 
shown that the two seaweed extracts – known as fucoidans – reduced tumour 
growth in select cancers and significantly improved the effectiveness of the 
common chemotherapy drug tamoxifen.

The breakthrough demonstrates the potential for fucoidan to be safely used as a 
complementary cancer therapy alongside traditional chemotherapy.
 
The extracts, developed and manufactured by Australian biotechnology company 
Marinova Pty Ltd, were tested in six human tumour mouse models, including 
cervical, breast and ovarian cancers. Fucoidan extracts were orally 
administered to mice for 30 days and compared to controls.

Ingestion of the fucoidan extracts decreased the growth of a human ovarian 
cancer tumour line by up to 33% and a human cervical cancer tumour line by up 
to 70%. 

The same breast and ovarian cancer models were also used to assess fucoidan 
activity in combination with paclitaxel or tamoxifen, two commonly used 
chemotherapy agents. The results showed fucoidan considerably improved the 
efficacy of tamoxifen towards breast cancer. Fucoidan decreased breast cancer 
tumour growth in this animal model by up to an additional 26% when taken 
alongside tamoxifen.
 
These findings build on results from a series of in vitro studies performed 
under the same research program. The in vitro studies showed that the two 
fucoidan extracts did not interfere with key metabolic pathways necessary for 
chemotherapy function and directly inhibited a number of human cancer cell 
lines. Strong synergistic activity between fucoidan and both paclitaxel and 
tamoxifen was also observed, as well as additive activity with topotecan.
 
Associate Professor Dr. Judith A. Smith, Director of the Women’s Health 
Integrative Medicine Research Program at UTHealth, led the research project and 
commented on the findings:
 
"This was the first research program to comprehensively assess the metabolism 
of fucoidan compounds for possible chemotherapy drug interactions.
 
"A pharmacokinetic study is now underway at UTHealth to further assess safety 
and observe quality of life parameters in human cancer patients." 

Adding to these findings, a further study in the research program found that 
both fucoidan extracts enhanced the immune function of cancer-affected mice. 
Immune markers immunoglobulin G (IgG) and interleukin 6 (IL-6) were both 
significantly modulated in fucoidan-fed mice, with a 500% increase in IgG 
levels relative to controls after 1 week. 

IgG is the main type of antibody found in humans. It helps control infections 
by binding to pathogens (such as bacteria and viruses) and alerting circulating 
immune cells. IgG levels are often suppressed in oncology patients, making them 
vulnerable to a wide range of infections.

Dr Helen Fitton, Chief Scientist at Marinova, highlighted the importance of 
these findings: 

"These results confirm the potential for fucoidan to help restore functional 
immunity in cancer patients. To have identified a safe, natural compound that 
has such a significant effect on immunity in an oncology setting is really 
quite remarkable." 

The two clinical studies have been published in the journal, Integrative Cancer 
Therapies:

"Evaluation Fucoidan Extracts From Undaria pinnatifida and Fucus vesiculosus in 
Combination With Anticancer Drugs in Human Cancer Orthotopic Mouse 
Models"(http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/1534735417740631)

"Pre-clinical evaluation of safety of fucoidan from Undaria pinnatifida and 
Fucus vesiculosus for use by oncology patients" 
(http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/1534735416680744)

About Marinova Pty Ltd | www.marinova.com.au

Marinova is an Australian biotechnology company dedicated to the development of 
high purity seaweed extracts for the betterment of human health. The company 
specialises in the research, development and manufacture of fucoidan compounds 
for use in nutritional, pharmaceutical and dermatological applications.

Marinova is recognised globally for its commitment to innovation and the 
exceptional quality of its Maritech(R) fucoidan extracts. The company is a 
GMP,ISO9001 and HACCP accredited manufacturer and the only producer of 
certified-organic fucoidan. As the world’s leading fucoidan supplier to 
research institutions and nutraceutical and pharmaceutical companies, Marinova 
exports its fucoidan extracts to more than 25 countries across the globe.

Please direct media enquiries to:
  
Claire Smoorenburg, Marketing & Communications Officer, Marinova Pty Ltd
Phone: +61 3 6248 5800
Email: claire.smoorenburg@marinova.com.au

Click to access photo dropbox 
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SOURCE: Marinova Pty Ltd 
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