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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 692549, 7 pages
Research Article

Fucoidan Inhibits the Growth of Hepatocellular Carcinoma Independent of Angiogenesis

1Zhong-Shan-Men In-Patient Department, Tianjin Medical University Cancer Institute and Hospital, Huan-Hu-Xi Road, He-Xi District, Tianjin 300060, China
2Department of Oncology, Shandong Provincial Chest Hospital, Jinan 250013, China

Received 15 November 2012; Revised 24 March 2013; Accepted 22 April 2013

Academic Editor: Hong Q. Zhang

Copyright © 2013 Cong Zhu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Some sulphated polysaccharides can bind bFGF but are unable to present bFGF to its high-affinity receptors. Fucoidan, a sulphated polysaccharide purified from brown algae, which has been used as an anticancer drug in traditional Chinese medicine for hundreds of years, exhibits a variety of anticancer effects, including the induction of the apoptosis and autophagy of cancer cells, the inhibition of the growth of cancer cells, the induction of angiogenesis, and the improvement of antitumour immunity. Our research shows that fucoidan dose not inhibit the expressions of VEGF, bFGF, IL-8, and heparanase in HCC cells and/or tumour tissues. Moreover, fucoidan exhibited low affinity for bFGF and could not block the binding of bFGF to heparan sulphated. Although fucoidan had no effect on angiogenesis and apoptosis in vivo, this drug significantly inhibited the tumour growth and the expression of PCNA. These results suggest that fucoidan exhibits an anticancer effect in vivo at least partly through inhibition of the proliferation of HCC cells, although it is unable to suppress the angiogenesis induced by HCC.