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Cancer Metabolic Reprogramming

Posted by Manuela Boyle on 15 June 2021
Cancer Metabolic Reprogramming

Cancer cells are well documented to rewire their metabolism and energy production networks to support and enable rapid proliferation, continuous growth, survival in harsh conditions, invasion, metastasis, and resistance to cancer treatments.

Some of the most striking changes of tumor cellular bioenergetics include elevation of glycolysis, increase in glutaminolytic flux, upregulation of amino acid and lipid metabolism, enhancement of mitochondrial biogenesis, induction of pentose phosphate pathway and macromolecule biosynthesis.

These pathways provide cancer cells with not only essential energy but also important precursors to support large-scale biosynthesis, rapid proliferation, continuous growth, tissue invasion, metastasis, survival and resistance to anti-cancer therapies.

However, the efficacy of anti-cancer metabolism therapies will need to be carefully evaluated because cancer cells are well known for their metabolic plasticity and heterogeneity. That may enable tumors to bypass certain inhibition mediated by therapeutic agents. Furthermore, as we have seen during the past decades, inhibiting individual enzymes or blocking single pathways seldom leads to effective cancer treatment

Interested? Happy to help.


Yeung SJ, Pan J, Lee MH. Roles of p53, MYC and HIF-1 in regulating glycolysis - the seventh hallmark of cancer. Cell Mol Life Sci 2008;65:3981-3999 

DeBerardinis RJ, Lum JJ, Hatzivassiliou G, Thompson CB. The biology of cancer: metabolic reprogramming fuels cell growth and proliferation. Cell Metab 2008;7:11-20

Author:Manuela Boyle
Tags:NewsResourcesEvidence Based ResearchCancer Metabolism


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