publication date: Feb. 28, 2017

Lung Cancer Vanderbilt Team’s Discovery Offers New Insight on Lung Cancer Risk

Researchers in the Schools of Medicine and Engineering at Vanderbilt University have discovered a proteomic “signature” from the airways of heavy smokers that could lead to better risk assessment and perhaps new ways to stop lung cancer before it starts.

Their findings, reported recently in the journal JCI Insight, are based on the observation that otherwise normal-looking cells in the epithelial lining of the lungs of heavy smokers and others at high risk for lung cancer undergo the same kind of “metabolic reprogramming” as do cancer cells.

To produce the extra lipids, nucleotides and amino acids they need to proliferate rapidly, cancer cells have to consume a lot of fuel, namely glucose. They essentially reverse the normal glucose-production cycle and “reprogram” their metabolism to increase uptake of glucose as well as glutamine, another quick-energy fuel.

The researchers discovered that normal cells in the lungs of heavy smokers do the same thing. The next step is to confirm that metabolic reprogramming is a “prerequisite for uncontrolled growth,” said Jamshedur Rahman, research assistant professor of medicine.

If so, metabolic reprogramming “would be a biomarker for risk,” as well as an avenue for prevention, by targeting enzymes in metabolic pathways that lead to cancer, said senior author Pierre Massion, Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of … Continue reading CCL Feb 2017 – Vanderbilt Team’s Discovery Offers New Insight on Lung Cancer Risk

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