Metabolism of lung tumours

Research in Switzerland has revealed a new way to stop lung cancer tumours from becoming resistant to treatment.

A tumour consists of cancer cells and supporting cells, which give the tumour energy and a blood supply to keep growing, but the team from École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne found a way to switch off this energy.

Using mice, the team identified that these supporting cells had changed the way they break down glucose in order provide more energy to the cancer cells, and by preventing this metabolism the tumours were more easily reduced by radiotherapy.

“Our study shows that their (the cells) altered metabolism in cancer could be a new Achilles heel to consider in future treatment strategies,” said group leader Professor Etienne Meylan.

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