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Exploiting Cancer Metal Metabolism using Anti-Cancer Metal-Binding Agents

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Metals are vital cellular elements necessary for multiple indispensable biological processes of living organisms, including energy transduction and cell proliferation. Interestingly, alterations in metal levels and also changes in the expression of proteins involved in metal metabolism have been demonstrated in a variety of cancers. Considering this and the important role of metals for cell growth, the development of drugs that sequester metals has become an attractive target for the development of novel anti-cancer agents. Interest in this field has surged with the design and development of new generations of chelators of the thiosemicarbazone class. These ligands have shown potent anticancer and anti-metastatic activity in vitro and in vivo. Due to their efficacy and safe toxicological assessment, some of these agents have recently entered multi-center clinical trials as therapeutics for advanced and resistant tumors. This review highlights the role and changes in homeostasis of metals in cancer and emphasizes the pre-clinical development and clinical assessment of metal ion-binding agents, namely, thiosemicarbazones, as antitumor agents.
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Keywords: Metals; anti-cancer drugs; cancer; chelators; copper and zinc; iron

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: January 1, 2019

This article was made available online on October 5, 2017 as a Fast Track article with title: "Exploiting Cancer Metal Metabolism using Anti-Cancer Metal- Binding Agents".

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  • Current Medicinal Chemistry covers all the latest and outstanding developments in medicinal chemistry and rational drug design. Each issue contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of the current topics in medicinal chemistry. Current Medicinal Chemistry is an essential journal for every medicinal chemist who wishes to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.
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