Fucoidan is a fucose-containing sulfated polysaccharide derived from brown seaweeds, crude extracts of which are commercially available as nutritional supplements. Recent studies have demonstrated antiproliferative, antiangiogenic, and anticancer properties of fucoidan in vitro
. Accordingly, the anticancer effects of fucoidan have been shown to vary depending on its structure, while it can target multiple receptors or signaling molecules in various cell types, including tumor cells and immune cells. Low toxicity and the in vitro
effects of fucoidan mentioned above make it a suitable agent for cancer prevention or treatment. However, preclinical development of natural marine products requires in vivo
examination of purified compounds in animal tumor models. This review discusses the effects of systemic and local administration of fucoidan on tumor growth, angiogenesis, and immune reaction and whether in vivo
and in vitro
results are likely applicable to the development of fucoidan as a marine anticancer drug.