New test uncovers metabolic vulnerabilities in kidney cancer
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IMAGE: Dr. Ralph Deberardinis and his Lab Manager, Jessica Sudderth, looking at a western blot. view more 

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DALLAS – Aug. 28, 2018 – In order to halt the growth of cancer cells, you have to know what feeds them. Researchers at the nationally recognized Kidney Cancer Program at UT Southwestern’s Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center have developed a novel approach using glucose that may open up new opportunities for therapeutic intervention.

Kidney cancer is one of the 10 most prevalent malignancies in the world and its frequency is increasing. According to UT Southwestern, the most common type, accounting for 70 percent of all kidney cancers, is clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC), a tumor characterized by the buildup of sugar and fat.

A team of investigators led by Dr. Kevin Courtney, Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine, and Dr. Elizabeth Maher, Professor of Internal Medicine and the Theodore H. Strauss Professor in Neuro-Oncology, used intraoperative infusions of labeled glucose in patients about to have surgery to remove the kidney cancer to assess how the tumors use glucose. The study, published in the journal Cell Metabolism, found that ccRCC tumors process glucose differently than most tissues. Rather than breaking glucose down

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