Cancer cells’ use of sugar holds the key to their destruction
Cutting down cancer cells’ sugar supply could make them more vulnerable to treatment.
Oncolytic viruses specifically target and enter cancer cells and use the cells’ machinery for their own multiplication and spread.
They destroy tumors from the inside without harming nearby healthy tissue.
A recent study proposes that restricting the cancer cells’ supply of glucose, and altering their ability to metabolize it, may strengthen the power of oncolytic viruses.
The research team, at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, used mouse models and cells from ovarian, lung, and colon tumors in order to demonstrate the effect.
Cancer Research UK sponsored the study, and a paper on the work features in the journal Cancer Research.
“Our research in the lab,” says lead study author Arthur Dyer, who is currently a Ph.D. student in the university’s oncology department, “showed that restricting the amount of sugar available to cancer cells makes these cancer-attacking oncolytic viruses work even better.”