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Potential anti-cancer therapy starves cancer cells of glucose

In a study involving renal cell carcinomas, the most common form of kidney cancer in adults, Stanford researchers have identified a compound that deprives cancer cells of their energy source. When tested in animal models, the compound halved the amount of glucose imported by tumors, slowed tumor growth, and produced few side effects.

My colleague explains the potential therapeutic benefit in a release:

Cancer chemotherapy can be a rough ride, in part because most of these drugs don’t distinguish between what’s cancerous and what’s not. The chemicals attack all rapidly dividing cells, from cancer cells, to blood cells and the cells that make hair. However, drugs that target a biological phenomenon only found in cancer cells, such as the compound recently discovered by Stanford researchers, could efficiently fight the disease with minimal side effects...

“This study demonstrates an approach for selectively inhibiting the ability of cancer cells to take up glucose, which is a pretty powerful way of killing those cells,” said senior study author Amato Giaccia, PhD, professor and director of radiation oncology.

The work appears in Science Translational Medicine.

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