Fucoidan reduces the toxicities of chemotherapy for patients with unresectable advanced or recurrent colorectal cancer
Combination chemotherapy with oxaliplatin plus 5-fluorouracil/leucovorin (FOLFOX) or irinotecan plus 5-fluorouracil/leucovorin (FOLFIRI) has become a standard regimen for advanced or recurrent colorectal cancer. Numerous studies have reported that long-term use of FOLFOX or FOLFIRI leads to better survival for these patients. Thus, control of the toxicity of these drugs may be crucial to prolonging survival. Fucoidan is one of the major sulfated polysaccharides of brown seaweeds and exhibits a wide range of biological activities. In the present study, we analyzed the effect of fucoidan on suppressing the toxicity of anti-cancer drugs. A total of 20 patients with unresectable advanced or recurrent colorectal cancer scheduled to undergo treatment with FOLFOX or FOLFIRI were randomly allocated into a fucoidan treatment group (n=10) and a control group without fucoidan treatment (n=10). Results showed that fucoidan regulated the occurrence of fatigue during chemotherapy. Chemotherapy with fucoidan was continued for a longer period than chemotherapy without fucoidan. Additionally, the survival of patients with fucoidan treatment was longer than that of patients without fucoidan, although the difference was not significant. Thus, fucoidan may enable the continuous administration of chemotherapeutic drugs for patients with unresectable advanced or recurrent colorectal cancer, and as a result, the prognosis of such patients is prolonged.
Ikeguchi M, Yamamoto M, Arai Y, Maeta Y, et al. Oncology Letters. March-April 2011, Volume 2 Number 2 Doi: 10.3892/ol.2011.254

Fucoidan induces apoptosis of human HS-Sultan cells accompanied by activation of caspase-3 and down-regulation of ERK Pathways
Fucoidan, a sulfated polysaccharide in brown seaweed, was found to inhibit proliferation and induce apoptosis in human lymphoma HS-Sultan cell lines. Fucoidan-induced apoptosis was accompanied by the activation of caspase-3 and was partially prevented by pretreatment with a pan-caspase inhibitor, z-VAD-FMK. The mitochondrial potential in HS-Sultan cells was decreased 24 hr after treatment with fucoidan, indicating that fucoidan induced apoptosis through a mitochondrial pathway. When HS-Sultan was treated with 100 μg/mL fucoidan for 24 hr, phosphorylation of ERK and GSK markedly decreased. In contrast, phosphorylation of p38 and Akt was not altered by treatment with fucoidan. l-Selectin and P-selectin are known to be receptors of fucoidan; however, as HS-Sultan does not express either of these selectins, it is unlikely that fucoidan induced apoptosis through them in HS-Sultan. The neutralizing antibody, Dreg56, against human l-selectin did not prevent the inhibitory effect of fucoidan on the proliferation of IM9 and MOLT4 cells, both of which express l-selectin; thus it is possible fucoidan induced apoptosis though different receptors. These results demonstrate that fucoidan has direct anti-cancer effects on human HS-Sultan cells through caspase and ERK pathways.
Aisa Y, Miyakawa Y, Nakazato T, Shibata H, et al. Am. J. Hematol. 78. Pp.7–14, 2005. DOI: 10.1002/ajh.20182
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