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Cancer Metastasis Rev. 1987;6(1):41-53.

Iron metabolism during infection and neoplasia.


Invasion of the vertebrate host by microorganisms or neoplastic cells triggers a variety of metabolic responses. One of them, the hypoferremic response, is the decrease in serum iron levels. This hypoferremia is observed not only during infections of various etiologies and neoplasia but also during trauma, myocardial infarction, surgery, and inflammation. The hypoferremic response thus appears to be a consistent and predictable biochemical response to pathogenesis. Hypoferremia has been shown to be of great protective value to the host against infection and neoplasia. Suppression of the iron-withholding ability of the host by excess iron is associated with a greater incidence and severity of infection and neoplasia. The potential therapeutic applications of the hypoferremic response are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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