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Useful Cancer drug stops tumour blood supply

by Medindia Content Team on  September 14, 2002 at 12:39 PM Drug News   - G J E 4
Useful Cancer drug stops tumour blood supply
A drug that reduces the level of copper in the blood of cancer patients reduces the growth of tumours in animals. Wilson's disease is a rare disorder where patients have excess of the trace element copper in their bodies. Researchers at the University of Texas, through research on Wilson's disease, have discovered a compound, known as tetrathiomolybdate (TM) that could fight cancer by lowering copper levels.
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Researchers found that copper plays a previously unexpected role in promoting blood supply - angiogenesis - to a tumour. Much other research is currently directed toward the discovery of anti-angiogenesis compounds. The team have found that TM suppressed the growth of tumours in mice that had been implanted with cells from an aggressive form of human breast cancer.

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The compound also kept new blood cells from forming in cancer-prone cultures of rat artery cells and prevented tumour formation in mice specially bred to develop breast cancer. The findings suggest that anti-angiogenesis can be achieved by reducing copper levels - a previously unknown approach to controlling tumours.

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