Send to

Choose Destination
Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2002 Apr;42(1):57-64.

Copper and carcinogenesis.

Author information

International Anticancer Research Institute, 1st km Kapadriti-Kalamou Rd., P.O. Box 22, Kapandriti, Attiki 19014, Greece.


Metal ions play an important role in biological systems, and without their catalytic presence in trace or ultratrace amounts many essential co-factors for many biochemical reactions would not take place. However, they become toxic to cells when their concentrations surpass certain optimal (natural) levels. Copper is an essential metal. Catalytic copper, because of its mobilization and redox activity, is believed to play a central role in the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), such as O2-* and *OH radicals, that bind very fast to DNA, and produce damage by breaking the DNA strands or modifying the bases and/or deoxyribose leading to carcinogenesis. The chemistry and biochemistry of copper is briefly accounted together with its involvement in cancer and other diseases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center