More Evidence Sugar Feeds Cancer
July 18, 2006
Growing tumor cells can crowd out other cells and cut them off from oxygen-carrying blood vessels, necessary for their survival. When this happens, some cancer cells have developed the ability to bypass the need for oxygen and instead switch to the glycolytic pathway, which they use even when oxygen is restored.
Researchers from the Harvard Medical School have now found that blocking one of the glycolytic pathway's enzymes, LDHA, may be an effective anti-cancer therapy.
The researchers shut down glycolysis in breast cancer cells by blocking LDHA and implanted the cells in mice. Among the LDHA-deficient mice, only two died, one at 16 weeks and the other at 18 weeks, and 80 percent were still living at the end of the four-month study.
In contrast, the control mice, which had tumor cells with a working glycolytic pathway, died at 10 weeks or before.
The researchers concluded that LDHA may be a weak point in the glycolytic pathway, and knocking out the pathway could be an effective way to fight cancer.