Current cancer treatment is concentrated on genetic mutations that cause cancers. But, a new study showed us a completely different approach. The study, published in the journal, Cancer Cell, targets paths that cancer cells use to satisfy their appetite. This, new drug, kills cancer cells by shutting down energy sources for these cells.
Cancer cells grow and divide very quickly. In order to do this, they need a lot of energy, so they must use any way possible to get it. Scientists discovered that they can undermine the ways in which cancer cells acquire needed energy. But, this treatment doesn’t affect on healthy cells.
Researchers at the Saint Louis University, focused on two pathways that cancer cells use. According to Thomas Burris, chair of pharmacology and physiology, said that cancer cells are ‘’addicted’’ to these pathways. In addition, he said that cancer cells need certain tools that enables them to grow fast. Also, they need a lot of energy.
One of these pathways is called Warburg effect. The other pathway is called lipogenesis. Researchers said that in the lab, a small molecule that was used for targeting both pathways, stopped the cancer growth. They also tested it in human cancer cells, grown in animals and the effect was the same. This molecule hasn’t caused any damage to healthy tissue around the tumor.
The drug is called SR9243. It has started as an anticholesterol drug candidate. It targets the fat synthesis in cells so cells can’t produce fat. The drug also suppresses high glucose consumption. In order to achieve this, the drug turns off the genes that drive these two processes.