Squalamine & Squalene Shark liver oil against cancer
What is squalamine?
Squalamine is an immune molecule found in the bodies of sharks that scientists are studying to see how it can help humans with diseases ranging from diabetes to cancer. It is a powerful angiogenesis inhibitor, originally isolated from the liver of dogfish sharks.
What is angiogenesis? From Wikipedia:
Angiogenesisis a physiological process involving the growth of new blood vessels from pre-existing vessels. Angiogenesis is a normal process in growth and development, as well as in wound healing. However, this is also a fundamental step in the transition of tumors from a dormant state to a malignantstate. An angiogenesis inhibitor is a drug, or a dietary component that inhibits
angiogenesis (the growth of new blood vessels.)
From http://squalamine.com/: Squalamine is not a protein. Instead, it is the first known example of
a class of compounds called aminosterols, each a steroid chemically linked
to an amino acid. And while proteins make poor drugs, because they are easily destroyed by digestive enzymes in
the stomach, squalamine remains unscathed through the digestive tract.
Squalamine has been investigated by Johns Hopkins School of Medicine researchers,
Dr. Henry Brem, Dr. Allen Sills, Dr. Mark Donowitz and their collaborators
for its tumor destroying ability. Squalamine destroyed the tumor spreading
ability in rabbits by suppressing the growth of new blood vessels needed
to support the growth of tumors. Squalamine halted the growth of brain
tumors in rats and prolonged the lives of the laboratory animals. At the
1996 annual meeting of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons
in Minneapolis, Dr. Brem commented, "Our findings present evidence
that squalamine may work against brain cancer." Preliminary studies
with certain brain cancer cells (glioma) have been encouraging.
The following statement has been published by The John Hopkins University
in August, 1998.
From The Johns Hopkins Gazette:
Laboratory studies at Johns Hopkins have dramatically confirmed the power of
a chemical discovered from the liver of sharks to slow the formation of new
blood vessels destined to feed brain cancers as well as other tumors.
Squalamine, previously shown to have antibiotic and anti-cancer activity,
inhibited the growth of brain cancers called gliomas implanted in the flanks
of rats by disabling blood vessel growth, or angiogenesis, say the authors
of the studies, published in the July 1 issue of the journal Cancer Research.
"Our results suggest that squalamine may be well suited for humans in the
treatment of brain tumors and other diseases characterized by and dependent on
new blood vessel growth," says Henry Brem, director of neurosurgical oncology at
Hopkins and senior author of the study. "It dramatically slowed blood vessel
formation without damaging healthy cells or embryonic development."
Named for the shark genus Squalus, squalamine was discovered in 1992 by
scientists who founded Magainin Pharmaceuticals, which processes the chemical
and funded the Hopkins studies. Squalamine is the first of a new class of
naturally occurring molecules, aminosterols, under development for human
Squalamine is isolated from the tissues of the dog shark. It blocks or
interferes with several steps in a cascade of events involved in blood vessel
growth. Based on the Hopkins laboratory work, it is currently in Phase I
clinical trials at the University of Texas (San Antonio) and at Georgetown
Further statements from The Johns Hopkins Gazette:
Shark-liver substance may slow brain tumors
Results of Hopkins animal studies show that a natural shark substance nearly
stops the growth of new blood vessels that nourish solid brain tumors.
The results suggest that the substance, squalamine, named for the shark
genus Squalus, may find a role with chemotherapy, radiation and surgery
in treating brain cancer and other solid tumors in people, say scientists
from Hopkins and Magainin Pharmaceuticals, which processes squalamine and
funded the studies.
Hopkins scientists added squalamine, a hormone-like chemical concentrated in the liver of the dogfish shark, and a growth factor to lab dishes containing central nervous system blood vessel cells from cows and squalamine alone to lab dishes containing human, rabbit or rat solid brain tumor cells. The blood vessel cells' rate of growth fell by up to 83 percent after two days, while the tumor cells treated with squalamine were unaffected. Results of a second study showed that time-release capsules containing squalamine slowed the growth of new blood vessels caused by tumors in rabbits' eyes by up to 43 percent after three weeks. Uncontrolled growth of blood vessels fuels the runaway cell growth of malignant tumors.
Other investigators also are exploring natural shark substances for use
against human diseases, but this is believed to be the first evidence that
squalamine may work against brain cancer. Squalus sharks' livers produce
an oil used in manufacturing drugs, and small amounts of squalamine are
found in shark cartilage. Squalamine dramatically slowed blood vessel cell
growth without damaging healthy cells, according to Henry Brem, co-author
of the studies and director of neurosurgical oncology, and Allen K. Sills,
lead author and a Hopkins neurosurgery resident.
From CNN, July 1998:
NEW YORK (CNN) -- Sharks are generally thought of as killers, but one type may be a lifesaver.
The relatively gentle dog shark possesses squalamine, a naturally occurring
cancer-fighting chemical that gives hope for cancer patients, said researchers
from Johns Hopkins.
The hormone-like substance that can be isolated from the shark's liver and
synthesized in a lab, can dramatically slow tumor growth without damaging
healthy cells by stopping blood vessels from growing, said Dr. Henry Brem of
Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Experiments in rats showed squalamine shrinks the deadliest form of brain
All cancerous tumors require blood vessels to feed their cells, and
squalamine may be able to starve them to death.
Writes Dr. Maras, MD (http://cancerchoices.com/) :
Fisherman of the Surga Bay on the Izu Peninsula of ancient
Japan called it "Samedawa" or "cure all". The sharks they fished from the bottom
of the bay measuring over 1000 meters deep, had a delectable meat. They
specially valued its liver oil which they ingested regularly because they felt
better whenever they took it.
In 1758, Swedish botanist Carolus Linnaeus discovered and
claimed the great health and medicinal value of oil extracts from deep sea
sharks such as the spiny dogfish. In the Micronesian Islands, a "miracle
working" shark oil has been an age old remedy for various sickness and diseases
as well as a familiar source of strength, stamina and virility. The
historic health benefits of shark liver oil has always been a mainstay in
Scandinavian folk medicine.
In Norway and Sweden, shark liver oil was used traditionally by
fishermen for healing wounds and irritations of the respiratory tract and
alimentary canal. In China, the extract of deep sea shark has been recorded in
the ancient pharmaceutical book "Honzukomuko".
In Spain, ancient mariners regularly took "aceite de bacalao"
or oil of the great fish. They claimed a greater resistance to colds and
various other diseases because of it. Even in Ernest Hemingway's book,
"The Old Man and the Sea" it says of the old man... "He also drank shark liver
oil each day from the drum in the shack where many of the fishermen kept their
gear....It was very good against all colds and grippes and it was good for
In 1906, Dr. Mitsumaru Tsujimoto made an in depth research on shark liver
oil, specifically that of the deep sea shark species; the "Squalidae Group", and
discovered that an extremely great quantity of unsaturated hydrocarbons was
contained in the liver oil of these deep sea sharks. He later called the oil
"Squalene". Dr. Tsujimoto's brilliant discovery was not fully
established until 1931 when Prof. Calour, a Nobel prize awardee at Zurich
University, Switzerland certified that squalene shark liver oil is a
lipoprotein, an unsaturated hydrocarbon with a chemical structure C30H50. This
means simply that it mainly contains 30 carbon atoms and 50 hydrogen atoms. Dr.
Calour in his study of the chemical behavior of this unsaturated hydrocarbon
revealed that the compound is naturally lacking 12 hydrogen atoms in its
original form for it to be stable (the stable compound is C30H62) and will
"capture hydrogen atoms" from any source available to make it stable and
saturated. The most abundant source of hydrogen is water ­p; H20. (Our
food contains much H20, body fluids and blood are mainly H20, body cells contain
much water, the human body is actually 70% water). Theoretically, C30H50
(squalene) reacts with water (H20) this way: C30H50 + 6H20 ­p; C30H62 +
302. By capturing the hydrogen molecules, 3 oxygen molecules from the water are
released. This shows that squalene, through a natural reaction with water,
is capable of providing oxygen essential for healthy metabolism. This basic
scientific theory shown in the above formula should provide us an insight how
squalene might work when present in our bodies.
Amazing discoveries continue to be made on shark liver oil. More careful
scientific studies are being made to thoroughly examine its full composition
and health benefits. In 1922, scientists isolated the therapeutically active
component in shark liver oil called alkoxyglycerols.
Since the 1950's, this component has been studied clinically for its healing
benefits in over 50 countries. Alkoxyglycerols (AKG's) in mothers milk, is
the key substance which provides infants with natural protection and immunity
against infection as it helps in the continued development of their immune
system. There are 10 times more AKG's in mother's milk than in cow's
milk. Science has proven that breast fed babies are more resistant to infection
and diseases even all through life because of the more abundant ingestion of
AKG's in their early physical development. This immune supportive nutrient,
Alkoxyglycerols (AKG's) is the primary active component in shark liver oil. In
fact, there are 1000 times more AKG's in shark liver oil than mother's milk. and
human adults commensurately need 1000 times more AKG's than infants in the need
for continuing boosting and enhancing ones immune system.
In the 1990's Johns Hopkins University discovered another ingredient in shark
liver oil, Squalamine, found to be effective against many yeast, fungus and bacterial
infections, and especially offers promise to immune compromise persons
such as AIDS and cancer patients. Shark liver oil may well contain the
secret of improved health and longevity for mankind.
You may wonder, having read the report so far, what has happened in the
field of squalamine research since 1998? After all, these fascinating results
were obtained almost a decade ago! What happened with the Phase I clinicaltrials at the University of Texas (San Antonio) and
at Georgetown Cancer Center?
answer is simple; there is no mystery. All effective modalities that endanger
the medical cash flow are suppressed, not only squalamine. Consider Insulin
Potentiation Therapy, which is able to turn an extremely toxic treatment into a
benign and much more effective therapy, using already approved substances
(insulin and chemotherapeutic agents). There are no funds for IPT clinical
trials, nor for trials involving any of the modalities described on this
website. Squalamine simply joins the long line of suppressed treatments that the
medical establishment doesn't want you to know about.
Despite the efforts of our medical leaders to block the medical use of
this powerful but not patentable anti-cancer substance, squalamine as a
marketable product has been researched and developed both in Japan and
in New Zealand. Marketed under the names of Squalamax, Squalene, etc.,
it is available from several distributors in North America as an inexpensive
dietary supplement. There has also been vigorous research into Squalamine's
anti-cancer capabilities by scientists all over the world.Here are some links to abstracts from scientists researching the medical
use of Squalamine against cancer.
A phase I/IIA trial of continuous five-day infusion of squalamine
lactate (MSI-1256F) plus carboplatin and paclitaxel in patients with advanced
non-small cell lung cancer. Clin
Cancer Res. 2003 Sep 15;9(11):4108-15.
PMID: 14519633 [PubMed -
indexed for MEDLINE]
Squalamine and cisplatin block angiogenesis and growth of human
ovarian cancer cells with or without HER-2 gene overexpression. Oncogene. 2002 Apr 25;21(18):2805-14.
PMID: 11973639 [PubMed - indexed for
A phase I and pharmacokinetic study of squalamine, a novel
antiangiogenic agent, in patients with advanced cancers. Clin
Cancer Res. 2001 Dec;7(12):3912-9.
PMID: 11751482 [PubMed - indexed
Short-term regulation of NHE3 by EGF and protein kinase C but not
protein kinase A involves vesicle trafficking in epithelial cells and
fibroblasts. Ann N Y Acad Sci.
PMID: 11193592 [PubMed - indexed for
Potentiation of platinum antitumor effects in human lung tumor
xenografts by the angiogenesis inhibitor squalamine: effects on tumor
Cancer Res. 1999 Dec;5(12):4287-94.
PMID: 10632372 [PubMed - indexed
Potential of the aminosterol, squalamine in combination therapy in
the rat 13,762 mammary carcinoma and the murine Lewis lung carcinoma. Anticancer Res. 1998
PMID: 9703911 [PubMed - indexed for
Squalamine inhibits angiogenesis and solid tumor growth in vivo
and perturbs embryonic vasculature. Cancer Res. 1998 Jul 1;58(13):2784-92.
9661892 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Science Daily article, July 7, 1998. In
laboratory tests, squalamine proved to be as effective as the chemotherapeutic
agent carmustine in slowing the growth of gliomas, the most common and deadly
brain tumors, in rats.Carmustine has toxic side effects; squalamine has none.
From Georgetown University (explore.georgetown.edu): "In 1993, Dr. Zasloff and his group discovered squalamine in tissues
of the dogfish shark, the first of a novel class of steroids, called aminosterols.
Subsequently his group discovered squalamine to be a potent antiangiogenic
compound with activity against solid tumors. Squalamine is currently in
Phase II clinical trials being evaluated for treatment of non-small cell
lung cancer and refractory ovarian cancer. "
From http://ajpcell.physiology.org/: Scientific paper ". . . squalamine has been shown to inhibit vascular endothelial growth
factor-induced growth of endothelial cells, which do not contain NHE3 (16).
Thus the specificity of squalamine, as currently recognized, is partially
de-fined by cell type."
From Discovery Channell: " . . studies included lung cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer,
ovarian cancer, and melanoma. Ultimately . . . squalamine might be used
to control all of these cancers and, perhaps, many others."
It prevents the growth of new blood vessels into a solid tumor.
From http://www.worldwidewords.org "The compound is believed to act by preventing blood vessels in the
human body from obeying commands from cancer cells to link to them, so
starving them of the blood supply that is essential for growth."
Here is an excerpt from a scientific paper from California University:
CALIFORNIA, UNIVERSITY OF, LOS ANGELES
1999 OVARIAN CANCER RESEARCH
" . . . a newly synthesized compound called squalamine, is a chemical that was first isolated from tissues of the dogfish shark (scientific name, Squalus acanthias). Squalamine was found to be a potent inhibitor of the growth of blood vessel cells in preclinical studies of lung and brain cancers. In fact, squalamine has been tested in early phase I clinical trials with patients, and the chemical has been shown to be nontoxic and well-tolerated by human subjects. In our preliminary studies with human ovarian cancer cells in the laboratory, squalamine has been shown to have strong antitumor effects that result primarily from its ability to block the vascular action of several blood vessel growth factors including VEGF, LPA, and estrogen.
"Squalamine and cisplatin block angiogenesis and growth of human ovarian
cancer cells . . ."
How does Squalamine compare with shark cartilage?Here is what Dr. Henry Brem,M.D., director of neorosurgical oncology at Hopkin’s, and one of the leading researchers of shark cartilage has to say: “ An inhibitor in the form of a protein, like shark cartilage, wouldn't make it through a patient's digestive system. The current available treatment couldn't possibly be a successful treatment. Squalamine, on the other hand, is a different story. It has proved to be non-toxic and a potent inhibitor of angiogenesis in
animal models. It appears to be extraordinarily selective, halting only the growth of cells being stimulated by growth factors secreted
by tumors. And, finally, it doesn't break down during digestion.”..Hopkin’s Medical News
What is the significance of Squalamine for the cancer patient?
Squalamine does not directly kill cancer cells. Instead, it inhibits selectively
the growth of tumor blood vessels.
"Squalamine blocks the in growth of blood vessels into a tumor, and
therefore, it block's the tumor's growth, not because it kills the tumor
cells, but it simply cuts off their blood supply if you will"
Dr.Allen Sill, Johns Hopkins University
" A tumor without a network of blood vessel formation is like a car without
wheels- it's not going anywhere!"
Squalamine becomes vitally important when there is a fast growing tumor,
blocking blood circulation or pressing on a vital organ. By stopping tumor
growth, Squalamine permits a slow, gradual elimination of the tumor or
tumors to take place. When a tumor is being destroyed, the immune system
reacts by inflammation and swelling. This, in case of a brain tumor, can
become a serious concern.
Trials with laboratory animals indicate that Squalamine is capable of passing
the blood/brain barrier. This is not surprising, as we know that shark
liver oil is a rich source of squalene and alkylglycerol (glycerol ether
lipids or AKG). Alkylglycerols are not only capable of passing the blood/brain
barrier, they are also able to open the barrier for other substances. This
has been demonstrated beyond doubt.
Restricting tumor growth is also vitally important as a tool to prevent
metastasis, as well as preventing the cancer from emerging again.
By now it must be clear that Squalamine is not a cancer cure. It is an
important, perhaps vitally important component in a comprehensive integrative
cancer therapy, in combination with other, carefully selected therapies.
Here are some distributors where Squalamine products can be purchased: