Study provides new insights for ways to use cell metabolism to treat cancer
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IMAGE: Researchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine have discovered that cell metabolism plays an important role in the ability of cells to start a survival program called… view more 

Credit: Colleen Kelley, University of Cincinnati

CINCINNATI–Researchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine have discovered that cell metabolism plays an important role in the ability of cells to start a survival program called autophagy, an unwanted side effect of some anti-cancer drugs that helps some tumor cells dodge treatment and eventually regrow into new tumors.

These findings, reported in the Aug. 28 online edition of the journal Cell Reports, provide new insights for ways to use cell metabolism to “pull the plug” on tumor cells that survive treatment, possibly leading to better treatments and outcomes for patients.

“Cells adapt to nutrient starvation by increasing autophagy, where a cell basically eats itself and recycles cellular contents to support essential processes until nutrients become plentiful once again. This process is regulated by the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) and AMP-activated protein kinases (AMPK),” says Carol Mercer, PhD, research assistant professor in the Division of Hematology Oncology, Department of Internal Medicine, and a member of both

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