Interactions of hydroxycarbamide (Hydroxyurea) with Iron and copper: Implications on toxicity and therapeutic strategies
Kontoghiorghes, G. J.
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Presented at the 19th International Conference on Chelation, London, UK, 13-16 November 2009Preliminary spectrophotometric and potentiometric studies have shown that hydroxycarbamide or hydroxyurea (HU) can interact with copper(II) [Cu(II)], iron(II) [Fe(II)] and Fe(III) ions and form complexes, for example, a ratio of 1 HU:1 metal at pH 5. The affinity for Cu (log β1 = 3.1) and Fe (log β1 = 5) by HU is much lower than that of the Fe and Cu chelating drug deferiprone (L1), which is used for the treatment of iron overload. It is anticipated that under certain conditions of high concentrations of these metal ions such as in transfusional iron overload, the therapeutic, pharmacological and toxicological properties of HU could be affected. It is also suggested that excess chelatable and labile forms of Fe or Cu ions, such as non transferrin-bound iron (NTBI) or intracellular low molecular weight labile iron, are among the main factors that may cause variations in the therapeutic response to HU in cancer, sickle cell anemia, thalassemia intermedia and other groups of patients. Further studies are needed to clarify the interaction mechanisms of HU with metal ions in vitro, in vivo and in clinical conditions. Copyright © Informa Healthcare USA, Inc.