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Role of zinc in the pathogenesis and treatment of prostate cancer: critical issues to resolve.

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Department of Biomedical Sciences, Dental School, University of Maryland, Baltimore, Maryland 21201, USA.


The most consistent and persistent biochemical characteristic of prostate cancer (PCa) is the marked decrease in zinc and citrate levels in the malignant cells. This relationship provides compelling evidence that the lost ability of the malignant cells to accumulate zinc is an important factor in the development and progression of prostate malignancy. In addition, this relationship provides a rational basis for the concept that restoration of high zinc levels in malignant cells could be efficacious in the treatment and prevention of PCa. Epidemiological studies regarding dietary zinc effects on PCa have been conflicting and confusing. The purpose of this presentation is to present a current state of information regarding zinc relationships in the pathogenesis and treatment of PCa. We also hope to bring more attention to the medical and research community of the critical need for concerted clinical and basic research regarding zinc and PCa.

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