Cancer cells adapt energy to grow

22 September 2014

A new study has found that cancer cells may adapt energy to allow the disease to spread through the body. The research is the first to suggest that cancer cells operate differently at the site of the tumour compared to those that travel elsewhere in the body.

Scientists at the University of Texas Anderson Cancer Center found that cancer cells that travel away from the original tumour site have different energy needs from their "stay-at-home" counterparts, which continue to proliferate at the original tumour site. 

The study, published online in Nature Cell Biology, suggested that this difference could be the result of the protein PGC-1α, which plays a crucial role in regulating cellular metabolism. It appears that this protein is key for helping cancer cells acquire more energy to allow them to travel and spread throughout the body.

This finding could potentially lead to new treatment options to stop the migrating cells from getting the additional energy necessary to allow them to travel, by inhibiting PGC-1α.

Cancer's ability to spread or metastasise is the primary cause of cancer-related death, which means that better understanding of how it migrates around the body could save lives.

Posted by Jeanette Royston

 

Health News is provided by Adfero in collaboration with Spire Healthcare. Please note that all copy above is ©Adfero Ltd. and does not reflect views or opinions of Spire Healthcare unless explicitly stated. Additional comments on the page from individual Spire consultants do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of other consultants or Spire Healthcare.

Find a treatment, test or scan available at:

or

Find a consultant

Use one or more of the options below to search for a consultant and link through to view their Spire profile.

or

Let us help you

fill out this form and we will get back to you:

Please select a hospital

We can call you

Please enter your details below and we will call you back.

What is the aim of your enquiry?

Please select a hospital

If we are unable to reach you by phone, please include your email address so that we can get in touch...

Categories

Cancer

© Spire Healthcare Group plc (2016)