Recent Advances in Copper-Based Organic Complexes and Nanoparticles for Tumor Theranostics
Treatment of drug-resistant forms of cancer requires consideration of their hallmark features, such as abnormal cell death mechanisms or mutations in drug-responding molecular pathways. Malignant cells differ from their normal counterparts in numerous aspects, including copper metabolism. Intracellular copper levels are elevated in various cancer types, and this phenomenon could be employed for the development of novel oncotherapeutic approaches. Copper maintains the cell oxidation levels, regulates the protein activity and metabolism, and is involved in inflammation. Various copper-based compounds, such as nanoparticles or metal-based organic complexes, show specific activity against cancer cells according to preclinical studies. Herein, we summarize the major principles of copper metabolism in cancer cells and its potential in cancer theranostics.