Cancer cells have increased levels of transferrin receptor and lower levels of ferritin, an iron deficient phenotype that has led to the use of iron chelators to further deplete cells of iron and limit cancer cell growth. As cancer cells also have increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) we hypothesized that a contrarian approach of enhancing iron entry would allow for further increased generation of ROS causing oxidative damage and cell death.
Li, Z., Tanaka, H., Galiano, F., & Glass, J. (2011). Anticancer activity of the iron facilitator LS081. Journal of Experimental and Clinical Cancer Research, 30(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/1756-9966-30-34