Health & Nature

Sharks Don’t Get Cancer

Sharks are one of the few living creatures on earth which rarely if ever get cancer, whether they are bred in clean open waters or in carcinogen-laden enclosed waters. Studies using shark cartilage for the treatment of advanced cancer have been getting a lot of attention all over the world. Research is being conducted now in Mexico, Israel, and the United States. Recently the United States Food and Drug Administration authorized a study using shark cartilage for the treatment of patients with terminal, advanced, metastasized breast and prostate cancers who have not responded to chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery. This is the first time the F.D.A. has granted research on a whole natural product.

Shark Cartilage – An Angiogenesis Inhibitor

Angiogenesis means blood vessel development. Shark cartilage appears to work by inhibiting the development of the new blood vessels which are needed to feed a tumour. You can basically stop tumour growth by starving the tumour, no matter where a tumour may have metastasized or how many metastases may exist. Since shark cartilage is administered systemically all of them will be affected the same way, by denying the feeding mechanism. So an angiogenesis inhibitor prevents or reduces the growth of new blood vessels to solid tumours.

Diseases In Which Shark Cartilage Is Effective

There are certain health problems which are dependent upon the growth of new blood vessels. For instance, arthritis, which is an inflammation of the joints; enteritis, an inflammation of the intestinal tract; macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy, an eye disorder in which small blood vessels of the retina dilate and rupture; and psoriasis and other skin conditions including acne and poison ivy – these may all be improved by using shark cartilage. Shark cartilage helps arthritis by stimulating the anti-inflammatory agents. It is most effective in treating arthritis and psoriasis at the high dosage level – all the auto-immune diseases such as psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis just disappear in a matter of weeks in patients who are on the cancer therapy. It is not effective against AIDS or HIV.

Restrictions On Treatment

Shark cartilage doesn’t affect existing blood vessels. It stops new blood vessel development. In a healthy body, our blood vessels are in place and they last for years. It is only if you have a fast growing tumour that you need new blood vessels. Cancer tissue is fast growing and has blood vessels which are only one cell thick, whereas normal blood vessels are three or four cells thick. So in a cancer tumour, these blood vessels break down continuously and have to be replaced. If you stop the replacement blood vessels, you will make a tumour necrose and it will not be able to grow. But there are limitations to shark cartilage treatment. If you are a woman who is pregnant, or if you want to have a baby, this is a strong angiogenesis inhibitor. It stops women from menstruating. If you have had a recent heart attack and you have to build collaterals, don’t take it. If you have had recent surgery, or a wound or a fracture, you have to wait first for the healing to take place, then use it. You have to use it with some degree of caution.

Scientific Research

In the 1960’s, Dr. Judah Folkman at Harvard University was doing research on the nature of tumours. He showed that tumour growth could be restricted to only a few millimeters in diameter, approximately the size of a pencil point, if it is not supplied with a blood vessel network to feed it. In 1971 Dr. Folkman published his landmark study in The New England Journal of Medicine. In summary he hypothesized that tumours cannot grow without a network of blood vessels to nourish them and remove waste products, and that inhibiting the development of blood vessels could be a potential cancer therapy. He suggested if angiogenesis could be prevented, tumour growth could be prevented.

Another study at Harvard confirmed that the logical place to look for these inhibitors of angiogenesis is in avascular tissue, tissue that does not have blood vessels, and of course the logical tissue is cartilage. Researchers reasoned that since cartilage has no blood vessels, it might have a property which keeps the blood vessels from developing.

In 1983, Dr. Robert Langer and Dr. Anne Lee at M.I.T. published research in the prestigious journal Science which showed that cartilage stopped new blood vessel development and stopped tumour growth. They reported that for the first 14 days while a tumour was developing its network of blood vessels, there was no tumour growth either in untreated control animals or in animals treated with cartilage. However after 14 days, once the network is in place, without the shark cartilage the tumour growth went up almost 400%, while with the shark cartilage there was no growth at all. Their research also showed that shark cartilage is 1000 times more potent as an inhibitor than any other type of cartilage.

Some of my own research on nude mice with melanoma had the same results. For the first two weeks there was no tumour growth. After two weeks, the tumour growth was tremendous without shark cartilage, but there was almost no tumour growth at all in the animals given shark cartilage. In the first study I did in Mexico, seven out of eight patients responded dramatically. The only therapy was shark cartilage. After eleven weeks of therapy, five patients were tumour free, two had tumours reduced by 85% and only one died.

I also did some research in Cuba which received a great deal of publicity on the 60 Minutes Show. We had patients with cancer of prostate, breast, brain, stomach, liver, ovarian, uterus, oesophagus, tonsils, and urinary bladder, all very advanced terminal cancer patients not expected to live more than three or four months. At the beginning all these patients were completely bedridden. At the end, those who survived were running, walking, playing, and doing normal activities.

Response Rates

The response rates are different for different types of cancer. Cancers of the prostate, breast, brain and central nervous system have by far the best results; we are getting an almost 90% response. The results have been quite good with ovarian cancer, about 70%. Liver has a good response. The rest respond less dramatically. We get a 50% response with lung cancer but that is pretty good for lung cancer. We are even getting good responses in pancreatic cancer but using very high dosages. The medical doctors who are working with me will use as high as 140 grams a day in a very advanced case. These patients are terminal cancer patients who have not responded to chemotherapy, radiation or surgery, and we get responses with them. We don’t get the Stage I patients. Those are easy.

Autopsy And Biopsy Results

Autopsy results on patients who died during the study showed that the tumours were widespread, and in every case the cancer had metastasized to the lung, liver, brain, and lymph nodes. However, the tumours were completely encapsulated by stroma (scar tissue) and completely dead. The cancer cells had no blood vessels. Biopsy results of live patients with breast and prostate tumours showed that after six months of shark cartilage therapy, which was the only therapy given, the tumours were basically dead tissue. There were no cell walls, no uniformity, only dead tissue. I have shown these results to doctors at major medical schools all over the country.

In the last month I have spoken to the oncology departments at the University of California, Albert Einstein University, Columbia Presbyterian, and at Princess Margaret in Toronto and in none of these places have we had anything but complimentary comments. The results are incredible, because the only therapy given is a non-toxic, comparatively inexpensive natural product called shark cartilage.

Dosage And Length Of Treatment

The dosage level for cancer that has been approved by the FDA is one gram per kilo of body weight. So a 70 kilo man would be taking 70 grams per day. Women who have had breast cancer take 10 grams a day and I have yet to find one who has had a reoccurrence. I personally take 10 grams a day as a preventive. For osteoarthritis, the dosage is comparatively low, about 10-12 capsules per day which is about 8 grams per day, for about 21 days. You get relief and then drop it down about a third for ongoing treatment. People with osteoarthritis get 70% response. At a dose of 30 grams a day, rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis respond dramatically.

The dosage is higher in cancer, and it is not easy to take 60 or 70 grams a day. You can take it orally, about 20 grams at a time in a thick juice like pineapple or pear juice. The therapy runs about 20 weeks. Sometimes you get a response faster, sometimes slower. You have to use CAT scans and blood markers to evaluate the response, and then drop the dosage gradually, and then stay on about 10 to 15 grams a day. If the cancer reoccurs, you have to go right back up to the high dose. People have a high quality of life. They can function well. If there was pain previously, about the eighth week they get major pain mitigation, and by the twelfth week, we begin to see a response. In my research I am required to use only shark cartilage therapy. But if I were free to, I would use it along with vitamin therapy. Chemotherapy appears to work negatively – we get better responses when people are not on chemo than when they are.

Processing The Shark Fibers

The protein fibres in shark cartilage are very easily denatured and made inactive, so they have to be pulverized without heat, sterilized without heat and dried without heat. The active ingredients are in the cartilage fibres which are almost like wire. You can pulverize the matrix easily, you end up with powder, but the fibres float. I finally found the only way I could do it was to use a special machine which pulverized it while the fibres were still in the matrix.

This was a secret that took me eight months to figure out. What makes me laugh is that two days after the 60 Minutes show there were 40 new products on the market all of which were accomplished in two days. But it also makes me very upset because they all quote my work and my book, yet most of these products are nothing but the matrix without any active component.

Composition Of Shark Cartilage

Shark cartilage consists of 37 to 41% protein, 8% moisture, .1 to .3% fat (almost non-existent), 7% carbohydrate, 13-17% calcium, 8-10% phosphorus. Pure shark cartilage powder contains at least 39% protein and less than .4% fat. That is the finger print of honest shark cartilage. An honest product hopefully will be effective. The active ingredient against tumours is located in the protein. Testing of protein extracts from the cartilage indicates that there are six or seven proteins that have the ability to prevent blood vessel growth.

The potency of shark cartilage as an angiogenesis inhibitor increases with its increasing protein content. Some products are only 8 to 23% protein, and I find the protein is completely inactive. Here is one from New Zealand, 64% protein but it is not from shark cartilage, I can assure you, it could be soy bean meal or horses hoofs. Fat is high suggesting it does come from an animal product. Here’s one, Sharkalive which claims to be 100% shark cartilage, but it is is 35% fat. There is no fat in shark cartilage. Seven or eight products are made in Japan which the Japanese admit contains 45% sugar – these are sold under the Twin Labs, Jamieson and Country Life labels. All of these are being marketed as pure shark cartilage, almost all at the same price. It is “buyer beware”, and if you are sick, really beware.

The product which the research was done on is named Cartilade. If someone develops something as good or better, God bless them, but do some work to prove it. Unfortunately there are no restrictions in the health industry and the industry is not as scientific, reliable or conscientious as it should be, and it ought to learn something from the pharmaceutical industry which everybody criticizes. Either you do it right or you don’t do it at all. Unfortunately 90% of the shark cartilage products on the market are completely ineffective. To me it is upsetting because terminal cancer patients are taking this as their last shot at life and if it is ineffective, it is tragic. * note: Dr. Lane’s product is now sold under the Benefin label (Ed.)

Are There Enough Sharks?

Everyone asks me “Are there enough sharks?” There are over 15 million large sharks caught every year just for their fins for shark fin soup. The fins of a 200 lb. shark are worth over $300. 95% of these fish are thrown away dead. I get the companies to save the heads and the backbones of these fish which have already been killed just for greater utilization. With the heads and backbones of these 15 million sharks, we can treat hundreds of thousands of patients without killing one additional shark. At present we are quite far advanced in isolating the active components and eventually synthesizing them.

Dr. William Lane

Dr. William Lane received his M.A. in the field of Nutrition Science from Cornell University and his Ph.D. in Agricultural Biochemistry and Nutrition from Rutgers University where he was fortunate enough to study under two Nobel Prize winners. He has worked as a fisheries consultant to the Shah of Iran and was appointed by President Reagan to serve as a research consultant on a U.S. mission to Guinea, Africa. He is the founder and president of Cartilage Consultants Inc. and author of Sharks Don't Get Cancer, a summary of his research with shark cartilage as a treatment for cancer, arthritis, and psoriasis.

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