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Interest has recently been revived in enzymes that degrade essential amino acids. Arginine-catabolizing enzymes now predominate and are discussed in this review. Apart from reducing tumor load through cell death occurring as a result of deprivation alone, these catabolic enzymes conveniently leave the remaining malignant cells vulnerable to other therapeutic modalities through combinatorial treatments with cycle-dependent drugs, the timing of additional treatment after deprivation being crucial.

(C) 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.