01/09/2009

Does Sugar Feed Tumors?

Researchers at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah have uncovered new information concerning the notion that sugar "feeds" tumors. The findings may also have implications for other diseases such as diabetes.

 

During both normal and cancerous cell growth, a cellular process takes place that involves both glucose (sugar) and glutamine (an amino acid). Glucose and glutamine are both essential for cell growth and thought to operate independently.

 

However, research conducted under Don Ayer, Ph.D., a Huntsman Cancer Institute investigator and professor in the Department of Oncological Sciences at the University of Utah shows they are inter-dependent.

 

He discovered that by restricting glutamine availability, glucose utilization is also stopped. This finding could lead to new drugs that would target glutamine utilization, or target MondoA or TXNIP.