Starve cancers to stop them?
The Boston Globe reports an 80-year-old discovery about the way cancer cells generate energy is fueling a new wave of research into how cancers proliferate - and how to stop them.
A study led by Harvard Medical School researchers last year found that the seemingly inefficient way cancer cells use sugar may be the key to their ability to grow out of control. Normal cells burn sugar to create energy that fuels the rest of the cell. But rapidly dividing cancer cells use a different process that makes less chemical energy, but produces a pool of resources involved in building new cells.
Lewis Cantley, director of BIDMC's cancer center is among the sceintists to believe it may be possible to starve cancer cells by crippling the enzymes they depend on.
"That's the optimism - that we can identify the right enzymes the cancer cell is addicted to" as a target for a drug, he says.