Disulfiram/copper complex inhibiting NFκB activity and potentiating cytotoxic effect of gemcitabine on colon and breast cancer cell lines

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Most of the gemcitabine (dFdC) resistant cell lines manifested high NF?B activity. The NF?B activity can be induced by dFdC and 5-FU exposure. The chemosensitizing effect of disulfiram (DS), an anti-alcoholism drug and NF?B inhibitor, and copper (Cu) on the chemoresistant cell lines was examined. The DS/Cu complex significantly enhanced the cytotoxicity of dFdC (resistant cells: 12.2–1085-fold) and completely reversed the dFdC resistance in the resitant cell lines. The dFdC-induced NF?B activity was markedly inhibited by DS/Cu complex. The data from this study indicated that DS may be used in clinic to improve the therapeutic effect of dFdC in breast and colon cancer patients.

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104-113
Number of pages10
JournalCancer Letters
Issue number1
Early online date25 Sep 2009
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2010


  • NFκB, breast cancer, colorectal cancer, disulfiram, gemcitabine resistance

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