ANCHOR LEAD: CANCER CELLS HAVE A UNIQUE ADVANTAGE WHEN IT COMES TO FEEDING THEMSELVES, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
The area in the vicinity of tumor is harsh and inhospitable to normal healthy cells, but genetic changes within cancer cells render them able to cope with this environment in a way that normal cells cannot. That’s according to Nickolas Papadoupoulos, a cancer genetics expert at Johns Hopkins.
PAPADOUPOLOS: The cancer cells grow in a harsh environment in a way. As they grow the area gets depleted from nutrients, it gets acidic, so this is not a normal environment for a cell to thrive. So they have to devise ways to continue their growth. In the particular genes that we’re talking about, what we found was they give the advantage to those cancer cells to grow in an environment that doesn’t have much sugar. As we know, sugar is a fuel that the cells use. :30
Cancer cell mutations allow facilitated uptake of glucose in an environment where the nutrient is scarce, thus allowing cancer cells to continue to grow and divide while normal cells are outcompeted. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey