Advanced cancers: Eradication in all cases using 3-bromopyruvate therapy to deplete ATP

Young H. Ko, Barbara L. Smith, Yuchuan Wang, Martin G. Pomper, David A. Rini, Michael S. Torbenson, Joanne Hullihen, Peter L. Pedersen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

292 Scopus citations


A common feature of many advanced cancers is their enhanced capacity to metabolize glucose to lactic acid. In a challenging study designed to assess whether such cancers can be debilitated, we seeded hepatocellular carcinoma cells expressing the highly glycolytic phenotype into two different locations of young rats. Advanced cancers (2-3 cm) developed and were treated with the alkylating agent 3-bromopyruvate, a lactate/pyruvate analog shown here to selectively deplete ATP and induce cell death. In all 19 treated animals advanced cancers were eradicated without apparent toxicity or recurrence. These findings attest to the feasibility of completely destroying advanced, highly glycolytic cancers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)269-275
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 5 2004


  • 3-Bromopyruvic acid
  • ATP depletion
  • Advanced cancers
  • Cancer therapy
  • Liver/colon cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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