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Molecular cancer therapeutics

Triethylenetetramine pharmacology and its clinical applications.


PMID 20660601

Abstract

Triethylenetetramine (TETA), a Cu(II)-selective chelator, is commonly used for the treatment of Wilson's disease. Recently, it has been shown that TETA can be used in the treatment of cancer because it possesses telomerase inhibiting and anti-angiogenesis properties. Although TETA has been used in the treatment of Wilson's disease for decades, a comprehensive review on TETA pharmacology does not exist. TETA is poorly absorbed with a bioavailability of 8 to 30%. It is widely distributed in tissues with relatively high concentrations measured in liver, heart, and kidney. It is mainly metabolized via acetylation, and two major acetylated metabolites exist in human serum and urine. It is mainly excreted in urine as the unchanged parent drug and two acetylated metabolites. It has a relatively short half-life (2 to 4 hours) in humans. The most recent discoveries in TETA pharmacology show that the major pharmacokinetic parameters are not associated with the acetylation phenotype of N-acetyltransferase 2, the traditionally regarded drug acetylation enzyme, and the TETA-metabolizing enzyme is actually spermidine/spermine acetyltransferase. This review also covers the current preclinical and clinical application of TETA. A much needed overview and up-to-date information on TETA pharmacology is provided for clinicians or cancer researchers who intend to embark on cancer clinical trials using TETA or its close structural analogs.

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