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In vitro and mouse studies suggest combining copper chelators with glycolysis inhibitors could help treat cancer. In a mouse model of pancreatic islet cell carcinoma, 20 mM of copper in drinking water increased tumor volume and number. Treating the mice with a copper chelator decreased tumor volume compared with no chelator and delayed angiogenesis. In the mouse model, the copper chelator decreased ATP production by oxidative phosphorylation, and addition of two different glycolysis inhibitors enhanced the antiproliferative effect. Next steps include testing for synergistic effects with other glycolysis inhibitors.

SciBX 6(48); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.1380
Published online Dec. 19, 2013

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Ishida, S. et al. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA; published online Nov. 11, 2013;
Contact: Douglas Hanahan, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland