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Chemotherapy (Los Angel). 2015 Jun;4(2). pii: 152.

Evidence that Human Prostate Cancer is a ZIP1-Deficient Malignancy that could be Effectively Treated with a Zinc Ionophore (Clioquinol) Approach.

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Department of Oncology and Diagnostic Sciences; Dental School; and The Greenebaum Cancer Center; University of Maryland; Baltimore, USA.
Department of Oncology and Diagnostic Sciences; Dental School; University of Maryland; Baltimore, USA.
Division of Urology, University of Maryland School of Medicine; Baltimore, USA.


Despite decades of research, no efficacious chemotherapy exists for the treatment of prostate cancer. Malignant prostate zinc levels are markedly decreased in all cases of prostate cancer compared to normal/benign prostate. ZIP1 zinc transporter down regulation decreases zinc to prevent its cytotoxic effects. Thus, prostate cancer is a "ZIP1-deficient" malignancy. A zinc ionophore (e.g. Clioquinol) treatment to increase malignant zinc levels is a plausible treatment of prostate cancer. However, skepticism within the clinical/biomedical research community impedes significant progress leading to such a zinc treatment. This report reviews the clinical and experimental background, and presents new experimental data showing Clioquinol suppression of prostate malignancy; which provides strong support for a zinc ionophore treatment for prostate cancer. Evaluation of often-raised opposing issues is presented. These considerations lead to the conclusion that the compelling evidence dictates that a zinc-treatment approach for prostate cancer should be pursued with additional research leading to clinical trials.


Chemotherapy; Clioquinol; Prostate cancer; ZIP1 transporter; ZIP1-deficent malignancy; Zinc; Zinc ionophore

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