Next Article in Journal
Regulation of Vitamin C Homeostasis during Deficiency
Next Article in Special Issue
Out of Balance—Systemic Iron Homeostasis in Iron-Related Disorders
Previous Article in Journal
Peculiarities of One-Carbon Metabolism in the Strict Carnivorous Cat and the Role in Feline Hepatic Lipidosis
Previous Article in Special Issue
Influence of microRNA on the Maintenance of Human Iron Metabolism
Nutrients 2013, 5(8), 2836-2859; doi:10.3390/nu5082836

Iron Deprivation in Cancer––Potential Therapeutic Implications

1 Division of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology, Department of Pediatrics, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA 2 Department of Pharmacology & Cancer Biology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 4 June 2013 / Revised: 12 July 2013 / Accepted: 16 July 2013 / Published: 24 July 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Iron and Human Health)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [683 KB, uploaded 24 July 2013]   |  


Iron is essential for normal cellular function. It participates in a wide variety of cellular processes, including cellular respiration, DNA synthesis, and macromolecule biosynthesis. Iron is required for cell growth and proliferation, and changes in intracellular iron availability can have significant effects on cell cycle regulation, cellular metabolism, and cell division. Perhaps not surprisingly then, neoplastic cells have been found to have higher iron requirements than normal, non-malignant cells. Iron depletion through chelation has been explored as a possible therapeutic intervention in a variety of cancers. Here, we will review iron homeostasis in non-malignant and malignant cells, the widespread effects of iron depletion on the cell, the various iron chelators that have been explored in the treatment of cancer, and the tumor types that have been most commonly studied in the context of iron chelation.
Keywords: iron; chelation; cancer; leukemia; neuroblastoma; ribonucleotide reductase iron; chelation; cancer; leukemia; neuroblastoma; ribonucleotide reductase
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

Share & Cite This Article

Further Mendeley | CiteULike
Export to BibTeX |
EndNote |
MDPI and ACS Style

Heath, J.L.; Weiss, J.M.; Lavau, C.P.; Wechsler, D.S. Iron Deprivation in Cancer––Potential Therapeutic Implications. Nutrients 2013, 5, 2836-2859.

View more citation formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

For more information on the journal, click here


[Return to top]
Nutrients EISSN 2072-6643 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert