Promising new cancer treatment approach targets fat synthesis

20 September 2016

Scientists have developed a new approach to treating cancer that works by halting the process of fat synthesis in tumour cells.

The Salk Institute research has identified a means of stopping cancer cells from creating their own fat molecules to build plasma membranes and other critical structures, thereby inhibiting the spread of the disease.

They partnered with Nimbus Therapeutics to develop a molecule with the ability to shut off an enzyme called acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC), which plays a key role in lipid synthesis.

Experiments with animal subjects and transplanted human lung cancer cells showed that this approach led to a reduction in tumour mass of roughly two-thirds compared to untreated animals. Moreover, when the treatment was paired with an established therapy called carboplatin, 87 per cent of tumours were suppressed.

The Salk Institute's Professor Reuben Shaw said: "The implications are that we have a very promising drug for clinical trials for subtypes of lung cancer, as well as liver and other types of cancer. This represents a new weapon in the arsenal to fight cancer."

Posted by Philip Briggs


Health News is provided by Axonn Media in collaboration with Spire Healthcare. Please note that all copy above is ©Axonn Media 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:


Find a consultant

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


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...



© Spire Healthcare Group plc (2016)