• Kevin Engholdt, Founder

Fucoidan (from seaweed) and chemotherapy resistance

Updated: May 9

An interesting study speaking to drug resistant cancer cells that are able to resist traditional chemotherapy and what their action is against a well known anticancer compound, fucoidan. Fucoidan can be found in all 3 of our seaweed species in our Infinimin® Multivitiamin as well as our Infiniderm® products!

It appears, from the researchers, in some cancer types, fucoidans can inhibit metastasis processes including EMT, migration, invasion and MET processes. Fucoidans function by altering signaling axes such as TGFR/TGF-β, PI3K/AKT, VEGF, NF-κB, or ERK1/2 pathways and by inhibiting MMPs from cancer cells. Other mechanisms in which fucoidans may prevent EMT are TGF-β inhibition regulation of microRNAs.

However, many questions regarding the functional mechanisms in which fucoidans affect EMT remain, leaving the door open for future research. The molecular characteristics of fucoidans (e.g., molecular weight and sulphation grade) enable chemical or enzymatic modifications, which make them good candidates for therapeutic use, or to use them as adjuvants to increase the therapeutic efficiency of known chemotherapeutics. Moreover, the molecular versatility of fucoidans has made them excellent precursors for the development nanoparticles. Studies have demonstrated their potential to improve the efficiency of drug delivery into the tumor and/or to achieve a synergistic effect with other cancer drugs. This will be important to better understand the possible influence of fucoidans on intracellular biological activity. In addition, the use of fucoidans in different cancer models and the interpretation of the results remains challenging.

Most of the time, there are controversies related to the vague establishment of the studying variables or the scarce explanation of them, which makes it difficult to compare different studies.

Fucoidan-based approaches may provide important advances in overcoming the most complicated cancer drawbacks including metastasis and drug resistance and improving chemotherapy response and quality of life in cancer patients. Further studies are needed to discover more fucoidans and fucoidan-related targets to acquire a better understanding of how these molecules can arrest the mechanisms of metastasis and multidrug resistance in different cancer types.

To your health,

Infinitum Health Team


Reyes, et. al. Brown Seaweed Fucoidan in Cancer: Implications in Metastasis and Drug Resistance. Mar Drugs.2020 Apr 28;18(5).



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