In healthy states, metal homeostasis is tightly controlled, and its deregulation is implicated as a cause or consequence of many human diseases. The study of trace metals in biology and medicine, historically known as inorganic biochemistry or bioinorganic chemistry, is growing in importance, becoming fashionably known as “metallomics.”
Using Copper & Zinc to Enhance Imagery
CuCl PET has recently been evaluated for tumor imaging in humans, detecting primary and secondary lesions in 18 of 19 patients with glioblastoma multiforme.
In prostate cancer, the low urinary excretion of CuCl allowed local tumors to be readily delineated by PET in a preliminary study of 7 patients.
A larger study in 50 prostate cancer patients demonstrated the detection of tumor recurrence and lymph node metastases with greater sensitivity.
Growing evidence implicates zinc, iron, and copper in the pathology of β-amyloid aggregation associated with Alzheimer disease (AD)—the “metal hypothesis of AD”.
The structure and function of many metalloproteins containing copper, zinc, and other trace metals are well characterized. The routes through which these metals reach their sites of action and become incorporated into their metalloproteins are less well understood, but it is now clear that complex trafficking systems exist in cells to ensure correct delivery while avoiding toxic accumulation.