Shark Cartilage in Treating Patients With Advanced Colorectal or Breast Cancer

This study has been completed.
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology Identifier:
First received: November 9, 2001
Last updated: July 7, 2015
Last verified: July 2015

RATIONALE: Shark cartilage extract may help shrink or slow the growth of colorectal cancer or breast cancer cells.

PURPOSE: Randomized phase III trial to determine the effectiveness of shark cartilage in treating patients who have advanced colorectal cancer or advanced breast cancer.

Condition Intervention Phase
Breast Cancer
Colorectal Cancer
Drug: BenFin
Other: placebo
Phase 3

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Double-Blind
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Phase III Evaluation Of Benefin Shark Cartilage In Patients With Advanced Cancer

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • overall survival [ Time Frame: Up to 5 years ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • quality of life [ Time Frame: Up to 5 years ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]

Enrollment: 88
Study Start Date: August 2001
Study Completion Date: September 2006
Primary Completion Date: September 2006 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: BeneFin

Patients receive oral shark cartilage (BeneFin™) 3-4 times daily. Treatment continues in the absence of unacceptable toxicity. Quality of life is assessed weekly for 1 month and then monthly thereafter during treatment.

Patients are followed every 6 months for 5 years.

Drug: BenFin

Patients receive oral placebo 3-4 times daily. Treatment continues in the absence of unacceptable toxicity. Quality of life is assessed weekly for 1 month and then monthly thereafter during treatment.

Patients are followed every 6 months for 5 years.

Other: placebo

Detailed Description:


  • Determine whether the addition of powdered shark cartilage (BeneFin™) to standard therapy improves overall survival in patients with advanced colorectal or breast cancer.
  • Determine whether this therapy has any impact on toxicity in these patients.
  • Determine whether this therapy improves the quality of life in these patients.

OUTLINE: This is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter study. Patients are stratified according to disease type (breast vs colorectal female vs colorectal male), age (49 and under vs 50-69 vs 70 and over), ECOG performance status (0-1 vs 2), baseline quality of life (UNISCALE rating less than 50% vs 50-75% vs more than 75%), and concurrent chemotherapy (yes vs no). Patients are randomized to 1 of 2 treatment arms.


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older
Genders Eligible for Study:   Both
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No


  • Breast or colorectal primary tumor sites

    • Considered incurable
  • Breast cancer patients must have disease progression after at least 2 different chemotherapy regimens (may include chemotherapy given as an adjuvant treatment)



  • 18 and over


  • Male or female

Performance status:

  • ECOG 0-2

Life expectancy:

  • More than 3 months


  • Bilirubin no greater than 3 times upper limit of normal (ULN)


  • Calcium less than 1.2 times ULN


  • Not pregnant or nursing
  • Fertile patients must use effective contraception



  • Concurrent chemotherapy allowed
  • No concurrent participation in a cytotoxic chemotherapy clinical trial


  • At least 60 days since prior shark cartilage
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00026117

United States, Arizona
CCOP - Scottsdale Oncology Program
Scottsdale, Arizona, United States, 85259-5404
United States, Florida
Mayo Clinic
Jacksonville, Florida, United States, 32224
United States, Illinois
CCOP - Illinois Oncology Research Association
Peoria, Illinois, United States, 61602
CCOP - Carle Cancer Center
Urbana, Illinois, United States, 61801
United States, Iowa
CCOP - Cedar Rapids Oncology Project
Cedar Rapids, Iowa, United States, 52403-1206
CCOP - Iowa Oncology Research Association
Des Moines, Iowa, United States, 50309-1016
Siouxland Hematology-Oncology
Sioux City, Iowa, United States, 51101-1733
United States, Kansas
CCOP - Wichita
Wichita, Kansas, United States, 67214-3882
United States, Minnesota
CCOP - Duluth
Duluth, Minnesota, United States, 55805
CentraCare Health Plaza
Saint Cloud, Minnesota, United States, 56303
United States, Nebraska
CCOP - Missouri Valley Cancer Consortium
Omaha, Nebraska, United States, 68106
United States, North Dakota
Medcenter One Health System
Bismarck, North Dakota, United States, 58501
CCOP - Merit Care Hospital
Fargo, North Dakota, United States, 58122
United States, Ohio
CCOP - Toledo Community Hospital
Toledo, Ohio, United States, 43623-3456
United States, South Dakota
Rapid City Regional Hospital
Rapid City, South Dakota, United States, 57709
CCOP - Sioux Community Cancer Consortium
Sioux Falls, South Dakota, United States, 57104
Sponsors and Collaborators
Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Study Chair: Charles L. Loprinzi, MD Mayo Clinic
  More Information

Additional Information:
Responsible Party: Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology Identifier: NCT00026117     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: NCCTG-971151, CDR0000068987, NCCAM
Study First Received: November 9, 2001
Last Updated: July 7, 2015
Health Authority: United States: Federal Government

Keywords provided by Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology:
stage IV colon cancer
stage IV breast cancer
recurrent breast cancer
stage IV rectal cancer
recurrent colon cancer
recurrent rectal cancer
male breast cancer

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Breast Neoplasms
Breast Diseases
Neoplasms by Site
Skin Diseases processed this record on November 25, 2015