Friday, 26 August 2016

3-bromopyruvate questions

I was recently asked what I know about 3-bromopyruvate.

It certainly has all the preclinical rationale and demonstration of efficacy needed for clinical trials. My two main questions about it would be:

1) where a person would get it in a formula safe for human use.

"Hence, it is suggested that PET scan positive cancer types may be benefited after treatment with a patented and proprietary formulation of 3BP. It is worth noting that unformulated 3BP may be harmful in some cases."

"The patient was treated immediately via TACE with specially formulated 3BP (patented and proprietary)..."
The first author of this study quoted above is the person responsible for developing 3BP as a cancer treatment.  I'd recommend the book "Tripping over the Truth" for the highly interesting inside story on that.

2) who would administer it and how?

I've not heard of oral administration of 3-BP, it is given intravenously or directly injected into tumors. In the only in vivo glioma study I'm aware of, the 3-BP was inserted into the brain in the form of a biodegradable wafer (not unlike Gliadel).

In the most famous in vivo study of 3-BP, the 3-BP was also applied intratumorally to hepatocellular tumors.

For brain tumors, it's not even clear if intravenous administration would be sufficient.  There must have been a reason these animal studies applied the 3-BP intratumorally rather than the more common systemic method of intraperitoneal or intravenous injection.

Finally, since no phase 1 trial has been conducted, we have no knowledge of what the proper dose and safety profile would be for intravenous or direct application into the brain.  These are all significant problems that need to be overcome before 3-BP can become more commonly used for brain tumors.


  1. Just happened to read this the other day and remembered u mentioning. Good article on the exact issues u seemed to b saying above. Anyway not sure if what u were talking about though I d share

    Candidate cancer drug suspected after death of three patients at an alternative medicine clinic - Science/AAAS

    1. Very interesting article Kylie, thanks for sharing the link!

      Now we know why there hasn't been a trial yet: "But 3BP has yet to undergo formal clinical trials. PreScience Labs, a U.S. company founded by Geschwind, received approval for a phase I study from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2013. Geschwind says the trial has yet to start because the company needs partners to finance it."