Novel therapeutic targets of tumor metabolism.


The study of tumor metabolism has resulted in new understandings of how cancer cells modify metabolic pathways that control cellular energetics to allow increased proliferation and survival. Tumor cells have been shown to alter metabolic pathways involved in glucose, glutamine, and mitochondrial metabolism to generate raw materials needed for rapid cellular proliferation, maintain favorable cellular redox environments, modify cellular epigenetics, and even promote and maintain oncogenic transformation. As a consequence, there has been intense scientific and clinical interest in targeting metabolic alterations that are commonly adopted by tumor cells for therapeutic purposes. In this review, we describe common metabolic alterations seen in tumor cells and discuss how these alterations are being investigated as potential targets for pharmacological intervention in preclinical and clinical settings. We also discuss some of the challenges associated with using tumor metabolism as a therapeutic target in cancer therapy, along with potential avenues to overcome these challenges.