Ammonium Tetrathiomolybdate, TM

Ammonium Tetrathiomolybdate  [TM]


New uses for a drug called ammonium tetrathiomolybdate (referred to from here on as “TM”) are currently undergoing clinical trials at the University of Michigan. TM is known to decrease copper levels in the body by a process called “chelation”. In simple language, TM binds copper to a protein, forming a complex, which can then be excreted from the body. Many organs in the body use copper; but the use that is of interest here is that it is essential to the growth of new blood vessels, a process called “angiogenesis”. (“Angio” means blood vessel and “genesis” means new formation.) Whenever tumor cells “set up housekeeping” in the body, blood vessels are necessary to provide nourishment for their growth. Once a tumor reaches the size of two millimeters it needs a blood supply to maintain itself. Without an adequate level of copper in the blood, this new blood supply cannot form and thus the tumor cannot enlarge.

TM has previously been used safely and successfully at the University of Michigan for children and adults with Wilson’s Disease, a condition in which copper accumulates in high levels in the tissues, and TM has FDA approval (for that condition) as an orphan drug which means a pharmaceutical that remains commercially undeveloped owing to limited potential for profitability.

  A Phase I clinical research study testing safety and dosage was carried out at the same institution in which TM was used in patients with a large variety of Stage IV cancers.  Five of six patients in the Phase I study who were able to achieve a target range of copper and maintain it, there for 90-120 days achieved stable disease and remained stable.  Full free text of the article is available online.

Phase II studies on 100 patients (specifically testing efficacy) have been done.  We suggest that you go to and search for    brewer g AND tetrathiomolybdate, and follow the story through the published papers.



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