How Sugar feeds Cancer
Researchers at Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah have uncovered new information about the notion that sugar “feeds” tumors. While its accepted that tumor cells use a lot more glucose (a simple sugar) than normal cells, the new study sheds light on how this process takes place and might be stopped.
The researchers discovered that during both normal and cancerous cell growth, a cellular process takes place that involves both glucose and glutamine, a common amino acid found in many foods. Glucose and glutamine, both essential for cell growth, were thought to operate independently.
This groundbreaking research now shows not only that they are interdependent, but that restricting glutamine works to stop the utilization of glucose. Essentially, if glutamine is absent, the cell is short-circuited, due to the lack of glucose: thus, it suggests a new way to halt the growth of tumor cells. The researchers hope that their findings will lead to more effective cancer treatment therapies.