Cancer researchers have long known that the metabolism of tumor cells is different from the metabolism of healthy cells. As part of this process, tumors undergo a major shake-up to how their cells consume and utilize the fuel they need to sustain their growth and progression. This is known as “metabolic reprogramming,” as the cancer cell’s metabolism is uniquely altered.
Past NBTS-funded research helped identify the unique ways in which different mutations and alterations commonly found in gliomas lead to this reprogramming, and, critically, how tumors become dependent, or “addicted,” to certain molecules in doing so — which has important implications for developing new treatment strategies.
A $350,000 grant to Dr. Paul Mischel of Stanford University will build on previous findings that the profoundly altered metabolism of GBM tumors leaves cancerous cells critically dependent on key enzymes to maintain their survival. These dependencies leave the tumor vulnerable to targeted drugs, which Dr. Mischel believes can potentially improve GBM survival rates.