3-Bromo-Pyruvate and the Treatment of Malignant Melanoma


3-Bromo-pyruvate is also referred to as 3BP.  It is a type of chemotherapy drug used in the treatment of cancer.  It is believed to act by blocking certain enzymes in cancer cells and by blocking new blood vessel growth that typically feeds cancers.  It is also known to increase the concentration of hydrogen peroxide in cancer cells, which kills the cancer cells.

In one research study (1), 3BP was used to treat a patient with malignant melanoma.  They found that, for the most part, the use of 3BP killed off malignant melanoma cells but that, in the presence of glutathione, the melanoma cells were not able to be killed off using 3BP alone.

In the research study, a single patient with malignant melanoma was given 3BP to treat his metastatic disease.  Unfortunately, it did not come out as it meant to be because there were high glutathione levels in the tumor that de-sensitized the malignant melanoma cells against 3BP. When paracetamol was used to deplete glutathione, the treatment worked better.


  1. El Sayed SM, et al. Safety and outcome of treatment of metastatic melanoma using 3-bromopyruvate: a concise literature review and case study. Chin J Cancer. 2014 Jul;33(7):356-64.

    Dr. Adem Gunes

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