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Cancer cells are known to “rewire” their metabolic circuits differently from normal cells to provide energy for cancerous growth. A study published today in Nature reveals that pancreatic tumor cells are dependent on an amino acid, glutamine, which they utilize via a molecular pathway that has no apparent backup system.
“Pancreatic cancer cells have painted themselves into a metabolic bottleneck,” said Dana-Farber’s Alec Kimmelman, MD, PhD, co-senior author of the publication with Lewis Cantley, PhD, of Weill Cornell Medical College. Their research showed “that if you suppress any enzyme in that pathway, the cancer cells cannot effectively compensate and they can no longer grow,” Kimmelman said.
Moreover, the investigators said, this novel glutamine pathway in pancreatic tumors does not appear to be important for normal cells, suggesting that inhibitor drugs could block cancer cells’ growth without harming healthy tissues and organs.
“We don’t have a drug to do this in humans,” Kimmelman said, “but we are working on inhibitors of enzymes in the glutamine pathway.”
Read the full article at medicalxpress.com.
A new study has shown that the juice of bitter melon, a commonly eaten vegetable in Asia and Africa, markedly suppresses the growth of pancreatic tumors in mice by disrupting the cancer cells’ metabolism of glucose, and literally starving them of the sugar they need to survive.
Bitter melon (Momordica charantia) is widely cultivated and eaten across Southeast Asia, Africa, China, Japan, Oceania and even in the Caribbean. Although eaten for centuries, bitter melon’s many health benefits (anti-viral, antioxidant, anti-diabetes) have only recently come to light in Western medicine, with research on its anti-cancer potential sharply accelerating in just the last four years. Bitter melon has now shown activity against cancers of the breast, prostate, colon, liver, stomach and naso-pharynx, as well as leukemia and neuroblastoma. But not until this latest study has it been shown that bitter melon is also cytotoxic to pancreatic cancer – and potently so.
Researchers at University of Colorado Cancer Center prepared bitter melon juice by simply purchasing the melons (Chinese variety) from a local grocery store, removing pulp and seeds, then using a household juicer. Solids were removed, and the remaining juice was either tested directly on cell cultures, or freeze dried and ground into a fine powder to be used later for feeding to mice.
Read the full article at NaturalNews.com.