Duke University in North Carolina has discovered that high levels of copper are linked to an increase in melanoma and breast, lung and thyroid cancer.
The research stopped short of claiming that excess copper causes cancer, but the scientists involved stated that copper causes the cancer to “breathe,” which increases the rate of growth.
We already know that high copper levels in the body are often associated with diets excessively high in green vegetables and seafood, and with Wilson disease, which is a hereditary disease that causes copper to build up in bodily tissue.
Experiments with mice showed that drinking water with the maximum permitted level of copper provided enough copper to encourage the growth of tumors caused by mutation of the cancer-causing gene BRAF. This gene is involved in regulating cell division, and if it mutates it causes excessive cell proliferation and survival; it may also lead to cells resistant to apoptosis, where cells fail to die off as they are programmed to.
Professor Christopher Counter stated “BRAF-positive cancers like melanoma almost hunger for copper.” With his colleagues, he found that by blocking the uptake of copper they could stop the development of tumors which contained the BRAF mutation. This was found to still be the case for tumors that had not responded to treatment with drugs which targeted the BRAF mutation.
A clinical trail has been approved to test copper-reducing drugs in the treatment of melanoma. Lead research scientist Dr. Donita Brady said, “Oral drugs used to lower copper levels in Wilson disease could be repurposed to treat BRAF-driven cancers like melanoma – or perhaps even others like thyroid or lung cancer.”
Ian: what a final comment! Don’t fix the problem with a proven heavy metal reducing water filter, take another drug!