Oral doses of shark cartilage have been used to treat cancer, although research indicates that the substance is likely ineffective against advanced stage cancers, including colon and breast cancers, states WebMD. However, taking the shark cartilage extract AE-941, Neovastat, orally appears to improve survival rates of advanced kidney cancer patients.
The manufacturer of the shark cartilage supplement Neovastat has received Orphan Drug status from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Drug manufacturers that research and develop drugs for uncommon conditions receive special government incentives under the Orphan Drug law, notes WebMD. As of 2015, the evidence is insufficient regarding Neovastat's kidney cancer-fighting capacity. It is possibly safe for the majority of people to apply shark cartilage to the skin for about eight weeks or take it orally for up to 40 months, but there are no uniform dosage levels.