Abstract Clinical research is currently exploring the validity of the anti-tumor candidate 3-bromopyruvate (3-BP) as a novel treatment for several types of cancer. However, recent publications have overlooked rarely-cited earlier work about the instability of 3-BP and its decay to 3-hydroxypyruvate (3-HP) which have obvious implications for its mechanism of action against tumors, how it is administered, and for precautions when preparing solutions of 3-BP. This study found the first-order decay rate of 3-BP at physiological temperature and pH has a half-life of only 77min. Lower buffer pH decreases the decay rate, while choice of buffer and concentration do not affect it. A method for preparing more stable solutions is also reported.