National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)
NIH…Turning Discovery Into Health

Información en Español

Health Topics A-Z

Shark Cartilage Supplement Does Not Extend the Lives of Lung Cancer Patients


Researchers recently announced the results of an NCCAM and National Cancer Institute co-funded clinical trial showing that a shark cartilage supplement did not improve the overall survival of patients with lung cancer.

Charles Lu, M.D., and colleagues at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center conducted this phase III randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial at cancer centers throughout the U.S. and Canada.

The researchers were trying to see if a shark cartilage supplement, AE-941 (Neovastat), would shrink or slow the growth of cancer in patients with stage III non-small cell lung cancer. The supplement, AE-941, was available only through the trial and cannot be purchased commercially.

All 379 patients in the study received radiation and chemotherapy in addition to a shark cartilage supplement or a placebo pill. The study team found that those taking the supplement did not live any longer than those taking the placebo.

A previous NCCAM-funded study also found that shark cartilage did not benefit patients with advanced breast or colon cancer. Results of that trial are available here:

Publication Date: 
June 15, 2007

Sign up for one of our e-mail or RSS notifications to learn when new complementary and integrative health-related information is available.

This page last modified January 30, 2015