The magnetic properties and safety of dextran-coated superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) have facilitated their clinical use as MRI contrast agents and stimulated research on applications for SPIONs in particle imaging and magnetic hyperthermia. The wider clinical potential of SPIONs, however, has been limited by their rapid removal from circulation via the reticuloendothelial system (RES). We explored the possibility of extending SPION circulatory time using fucoidan, a seaweed-derived food supplement, to inhibit RES uptake. The effects of fucoidan on SPION biodistribution were evaluated using ferucarbotran, which in its pharmaceutical formulation (Resovist) targets the RES. Ferucarbotran was radiolabeled at the iron oxide core with technetium-99m (99mTc; t1/2 = 6 h) or zirconium-89 (89Zr; t1/2 = 3.3 days). Results obtained with 99mTc-ferucarbotran demonstrated that administration of fucoidan led to a 4-fold increase in the circulatory half-life (t1/2 slow) from 37.4 to 150 min (n = 4; P < 0.0001). To investigate whether a longer circulatory half-life could lead to concomitant increased tumor uptake, the effects of fucoidan were tested with 89Zr-ferucarbotran in mice bearing syngeneic subcutaneous (GL261) tumors. In this model, the longer circulatory half-life achieved with fucoidan was associated with a doubling in tumor SPION uptake (n = 5; P < 0.001). Fucoidan was also effective in significantly increasing the circulatory half-life of perimag-COOH, a commercially available SPION with a larger hydrodynamic size (130 nm) than ferucarbotran (65 nm). These findings indicate successful diversion of SPIONs away from the hepatic RES and show realistic potential for future clinical applications.