Pterin 6 aldehyde, a cancer cell catabolite: identification and application in diagnosis and treatment of human cancer

R. Halpern, B. C. Halpern, B. Stea, A. Dunlap, K. Conklin, B. Clark, H. Ashe, L. Sperling, J. A. Halpern, D. Hardy, R. A. Smith

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Abstract

Active folic degradation with the formation of pterin 6 aldehyde is a previously undescribed characteristic of cancer cells in tissue culture. Neither normal adult epithelial and fibroblastic cells nor human amniotic cells nor mouse embryonic fibroblasts degrade folic acid to a measurable degree. Twenty nine patients whose diagnoses were not revealed until after the test of their first morning urine for pterin 6 aldehyde was completed were studied for the presence or absence of pterin 6 aldehyde by thin layer chromatography. Pterin 6 aldehyde was found in the urine at about 300 nmol/ml or greater only in those 13 patients with a tissue diagnosis of cancer. When the cancer was totally resected, the pterin 6 aldehyde was no longer found in the urine postoperatively. Pterin 6 aldehyde is not found in the urine of healthy patients at this level of detection unless their diets are supplemented with folic acid.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)587-591
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume74
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 1977
Externally publishedYes

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