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

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2004 Nov 5;324(1):269-75. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2004.09.047.


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 (2-3cm) 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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Triphosphate / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / drug therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / pathology
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / metabolism*
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms, Experimental / drug therapy*
  • Liver Neoplasms, Experimental / metabolism
  • Liver Neoplasms, Experimental / pathology
  • Neoplasm Transplantation
  • Pyruvates / metabolism*
  • Pyruvates / therapeutic use*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Survival Rate


  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Pyruvates
  • bromopyruvate
  • Adenosine Triphosphate
  • Glucose