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Depriving malignant tumors of their copper supply may be a potent antiangiogenesis strategy for stabilizing patients with advanced cancer.
In last month's Clinical Cancer Research, investigators at the University of Michigan Medical School described a surprise finding from a clinical trial designed to determine how well tetrathiomolybdate (TM), an inexpensive compound, could lower copper levels in patients with cancer. In five of six patients kept at 20% of normal copper levels for more than 90 days, existing tumors did not grow and new tumors did not form for more than 1 year. Another 12 patients could not achieve or maintain the target copper level for 90 days because of disease progression.
Voelker R. Copper and Cancer. JAMA. 2000;283(8):994. doi:10.1001/jama.283.8.994-JQU00000-3-1