Seaweed Extract Emerges as Potential Lymphoma Treatment

In some unexpected news, seaweed extract may eventually emerge as a lymphoma treatment, according to laboratory research presented at the second AACR Dead Sea International Conference on Advances in Cancer Research: From the Laboratory to the Clinic in Jordan.
What makes seaweed so special? Apparently, it contains a chemical called fucoidan, which is a sulfate polysaccharide similar to heparin in structure, and that has been reported to fight tumors in mice and in some cell lines, one of the study's authors, Mohammad Irhimeh said at the conference.
Irhimeh, from the Hashemite University in Jordan, worked with colleagues from the University of California, Berkley and the Royal Hobart Hospital in Australia on the project. The researchers say they found fucoidans had an inhibitory effect on the growth of lymphoma cell lines, while keeping healthy cells intact. The researchers also noted a significant pattern of activity in the genes known to be linked with apoptosis, or cell death, in lymphoma.
The scientists used commercially available seaweed extract for the experiment.
SOURCE: American Association for Cancer Research, news release, March 10, 2010

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