Prostate cancer remains the second leading cause of cancer deaths in males. This is mainly due to the absence of an available efficacious chemotherapy despite decades of research in pursuit of effective treatment approaches. A plausible target for the treatment is the established clinical relationship that the zinc levels in the malignant cells are markedly decreased compared to the normal epithelium in virtually all cases of prostate cancer, and at all stages malignancy. The decrease in zinc results from the downregulation of the functional zinc uptake transporter, ZIP1; which occurs during early development of prostate malignancy. This is an essential requirement for the development of malignancy to prevent the cytotoxic/tumor-suppressor effects of increased zinc on the premalignant and malignant cells. Thus prostate cancer is a ZIP1-deficient malignancy. This relationship provides the basis for a treatment regimen that will facilitate the uptake and accumulation of zinc into the premalignant and malignant cells. In this report we employed a zinc ionophore (clioquinol) approach in the treatment of mice with human ZIP1-deficient prostate tumors (ectopic xenograft model). Clioquinol treatment resulted in 85%inhibition of tumor growth due to the cytotoxic effects of zinc. Coupled with additional results from earlier studies, the compelling evidence provides a plausible approach for the effective treatment of human prostate cancer; including primary site malignancy, hormone-resistant cancer, and metastasis. Additionally, this approach might be effective in preventing the development of malignancy in individuals suspected of presenting with early development of malignancy. Clinical trials are now required in leading to the potential for an efficacious zinc-treatment approach, which is urgently needed for the treatment of prostate cancer.
Keywords: Chemotherapy; Citrate; Clioquinol; Ionophore; Prostate cancer; Prostate malignancy; Tumor suppressor; ZIP1; Zinc.