Copper, An Essential Element In Prostate cancer Treatment

Copper, An Essential Element In Prostate cancer Treatment
shutterstock_89163436Prostate cancer cells have the capacity to scavenge and pile copper, an essential element for the proper function of the human body. However, recent results from a study by Duke Medicine researchers have unveiled a way of turning cancer’s copper scavenging into a deadly activity for the tumor itself. The team, whose results titled “Copper Signaling Axis as a Target for Prostate Cancer Therapeutics” were published in The Journal of Cancer Research, managed to deliver a trove of copper together with a drug that selectively destroys the diseased cells filled with the mineral, leaving healthy cells untouched. This experimental approach took advantage of two drugs already used in the clinic. Among them, disulfiram, a drug approved by the FDA to treat alcoholism, that relies on the additional copper found in prostate cancer tumors. Once used for the treatment of prostate cancer, its poor results in clinical trials among patients suffering from an advanced form of the disease stopped it from moving forward. “This proclivity for copper uptake is something we have known could be an Achilles’ heel in prostate cancer tumors as well as other cancers,” Donald McDonnell, Ph.D., chairman of the Duke Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology and se
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