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Cartilage (Bovine and Shark) (PDQ®)

Health Professional Version
Last Modified: 04/23/2014

Summary of the Evidence for Cartilage

Although at least a dozen clinical studies of cartilage as a treatment for people with cancer have been conducted since the early 1970s, relatively few results have been reported in the peer-reviewed scientific literature. There are small amounts of reported data from phase III clinical trials. Additional clinical studies are now under way. At present, the use of cartilage (bovine [cow] or shark) as a treatment for people with cancer cannot be recommended outside the context of well-designed clinical trials.

Separate levels of evidence scores are assigned to qualifying human studies on the basis of statistical strength of the study design and scientific strength of the treatment outcomes (i.e., endpoints) measured. The resulting two scores are then combined to produce an overall score. For additional information about levels of evidence analysis, refer to Levels of Evidence for Human Studies of Cancer Complementary and Alternative Medicine.