March 1, 2024

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“Starve cancer cells” may become a reality!

“Starve cancer cells” may become a reality!


“Starve cancer cells” may become a reality! But how hungry is beyond your imagination. 

In recent years, we will often see many articles about how to starve cancer cells, but in fact, these studies basically start with cutting off sugar intake, but is this really the case?

In recent years, we will often see many articles about how to starve cancer cells, but in fact, these studies basically start with cutting off sugar intake, but is this really the case? A recent subversive study published in the journal Nature makes “starve cancer cells” a feasible reality, but the energy source to be cut off is not what people think.


Image source: “Nature” official website


The main source of energy for the human body comes from carbohydrates (sugars), fats and proteins. Generally speaking, sugars are the preferred energy source. Past studies have also confirmed that cancer cells seem to love sugar more and consume more. carbohydrate.


An article published by Otto Warburg in 1922 showed that cancer tissues consume glucose at a very high rate. Based on this, some people have proposed the treatment of “starve cancer cells”-reducing energy intake, such as reducing sugars. Ingestion thus inhibits the growth of cancer cells.


But this very disruptive research-that is, the above article has overturned the cancer metabolism model that has been continuously developed and improved for nearly 100 years. This latest study found that in the tumor microenvironment, it is not cancer cells that consume the most glucose!


In the process of glucose metabolism in tumors, PET imaging technology is now commonly used to image the basic structure of the tumor, and then the glucose is labeled with a radioactive tracer (FDG) to show the glucose metabolism process in the tumor microenvironment. But FDG-PET imaging technology does not always achieve the goals that people expect. For this reason, researchers have found nutritive glutamine, which has been found to be a common “ration” for cancer cells in recent years.


Many previous studies have actually confirmed that because cancer cells invade very quickly, many cancer cells do not rely on glucose to supply energy. One of their favorite “rations” is Glutamine-this love The degree will even exceed that of glucose, which means to “starve cancer cells”, and it is more practical to cut off the binding of glutamine.


So the researchers began further research and tracking. This operation is not very difficult in concept. Simply put, two different tracers were used for tumor mice, one for tracking glucose and the other for tracking valleys. Aminoamide-when nutrients enter the tumor microenvironment, the tumor is separated, and then cell surface proteins and flow cytometry are used to classify the cells-the cells are distinguished by cell surface proteins, which are normal cells and tumor cells It is also an immune cell, and the emission of the cell is measured to determine what kind of nutrients the cell has absorbed.


However, the results of the experiment were beyond the expectations of the researchers: when analyzing six common tumor models including kidney cancer, breast cancer, colorectal cancer, etc., it was found that the macrophages that absorbed the most glucose in the tumor tissues ! Then there are T cells, and then cancer cells. Correspondingly, cancer cells absorb the most glutamine!


The researchers said that the cancer types involved in this study are very common, and perhaps this is a common phenomenon in tumors-and this discovery is in sharp contrast with the current metabolic model in the tumor microenvironment, which means The previous idea that cancer cells suppress immune cells by consuming glucose may be wrong.


In fact, in order to cope with uncertainty and improve their own adaptability, cancer cells may have been looking for differentiated metabolic patterns from the beginning, including a preference for absorbing glutamine and fatty acids to maintain their own energy supply.


This study points us to another path. Since cancer cells use glutamine for energy supply, blocking this path may reduce the occurrence of tumors. In fact, other research teams have discovered the corresponding pathway that can cut off the absorption of glutamine and inhibit tumor growth.


In March of this year, an article published by the Prebis Institute of Medical Discovery in the AACR Association’s “Molecular Cancer Therapeutics” magazine found a substance that can cut off the path for cancer cells to transport glutamine. Researchers found the best blocking substance among 7,000 different compounds, and conducted related experiments, and found that it can block the development of a variety of tumors and inhibit their growth, which means “starving to death” at the molecular level. Cancer cells are possible.


But “starving cancer cells” does not rely on reducing the intake of foods such as starch. On the contrary, perhaps in order for immune cells to work harder, we can supply immune cells with more glucose. In fact, the articles we often read are that cancer patients cannot eat this or that, and weight loss has become the impression of many cancer patients.


We can “starve cancer cells” from the molecular level instead of intercepting them from the food level. It is not advisable not to eat staple foods or high-calorie foods. At the same time, we have also seen that immune cells rely on glucose to supplement energy. , So adequate nutrition is an important weapon to ensure that we fight cancer.


(source:internet, reference only)

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