Seaweed Extract May Be A Treatment for Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

March 22, 2010 by  
Filed under Health


Lymphoma is a cancer of the immune system and is classified into Hodgkin’s and non-Hodgkin’s types, which are then further classified into B-cell and T-cell groups. Unfortunately some forms of B-cell lymphoma are especially resistant to standard treatment and so the search has been on for new therapies.

Research underway at the Hashemite University in Jordan to see whether seaweed extract could hold the key has evolved into trials with a commercially available seaweed extract at the University of California, Berkeley, and Royal Hobart Hospital in Australia.

They are investigating active compounds derived from a natural source seaweed treated as they contain fucoidan. This is a sulfated polysaccharide that is similar to heparin in chemical structure and that has been reported to have anti-tumour activity in mice. They found that

the extract did inhibit the the growth of lymphoma cell lines, while leaving the control 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 American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) is where this result was aired and they have called for more study and phase II or III clinical trials involving seaweed extract.