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The Role of Iron Chelation in Cancer Therapy *

This review focuses on advances and strategies in the use of iron chelators as anti-tumor therapies. Although the development of iron chelators for human disease has focused primarily on their use in the treatment of secondary iron overload, chelators may also be useful anti-tumor agents. They can deplete iron or cause oxidative stress in the tumor due to redox perturbations in its environment. Iron chelators have been tested for their anti-tumor activity in cell culture experiments, animal models and human clinical trials. Largely for pragmatic reasons, clinical studies of the anti-tumor activity of iron chelators have generally focused on desferrioxamine (DFO), a drug approved for the treatment of iron overload.
These studies have shown that DFO can retard tumor growth in many different experimental contexts. However, the activity of DFO is modest, and advances in the use of chelators as anti-cancer agents will require the development of new chelators based on new paradigms. Examples of iron chelators that have shown promising anti-tumor activity (in various stages of development) include heterocyclic carboxaldehyde thiosemicarbazones, analogs of pyridoxal isonicotinoyl hydrazone, tachpyridine, O-trensox, desferrithiocin, and other natural and synthetic chelators. Apart from their use as single agents, chelators may also synergize with other anti-cancer therapies. The development of chelators as anticancer agents is largely an unexplored field, but one with extraordinary potential to impact human cancer.

* Legal Disclaimer: Chelation and Hyperbaric Therapy, Stem Cell Therapy, and other treatments and modalities mentioned or referred to in this web site are medical techniques that may or may not be considered “mainstream”. As with any medical treatment, results will vary among individuals, and there is no implication or guarantee that you will heal or achieve the same outcome as patients herein.

As with any procedure, there could be pain or other substantial risks involved. These concerns should be discussed with your health care provider prior to any treatment so that you have proper informed consent and understand that there are no guarantees to healing.

THE INFORMATION IN THIS WEBSITE IS OFFERED FOR GENERAL EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT IMPLY OR GIVE MEDICAL ADVICE. No Doctor/Patient relationship shall be deemed to have arisen simply by reading the information contained on these pages, and you should consult with your personal physician/care giver regarding your medical treatment before undergoing any sort of treatment or therapy.

Published on 08-27-2008
Authors: Buss J.L.; Torti F.M.; Torti S.V.
Source: Current Medicinal Chemistry, Volume 10, Number 12, June 2003 , pp. 1021-1034(14),