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"Fucoidan, A Natural Biopolymer In Cancer Combating: From Edible Algae To Nanocarrier Tailoring".

Samar M. Etman, Y. S. Elnaggar, O. Abdallah
Published 2019 · Chemistry, Medicine

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Fucoidan is an edible algae that has long been used as part of east Asians' diet. Recently, various pharmacological activities of the polymer have been discovered including its ability to act as antimicrobial, anti-thrombotic, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer. This review is the first to focus on the anti-cancer ability of this biopolymer and factors affecting it. The review discusses the mechanism by which fucoidan can kill cancer cells efficiently without having chemotherapeutic side effects and the ability of fucoidan to act as an adjuvant to classic therapy. Furthermore, multifaceted nanotechnological applications of fucoidan in cancer treatment were reviewed. Fucoidan nanoparticles with efficient drug loading and release had been developed. The polymer had also been used as coating material for different organic and inorganic nanoparticles imparting biocompatibility characters to these systems. Most recently, there has been a focus on the role of fucoidan as active targeting ligand for cancer cells. The polymer could target P-selectin receptors over-expressed on cancer cells in nanomolar concentrations. Combining all these activities, fucoidan could be considered as one of the most important biopolymers combating cancer during tailoring of cancer nanomedicine. Finally, we discussed safety of fucoidan, challenges facing its application on industrial scale and future projections.
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