Navigation Links
Does the existing standard of care supply energy sources to brain tumor cells?

Chestnut Hill, Mass. (7/14/2010) The medical standard of care comprised of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy for the most common form of brain cancer triggers a number of biological responses that may actually feed the energy metabolism that supports the disease, according to Boston College researchers writing in the journal Lancet Oncology.

The deadly glioblastoma multiforme leaves the average patient a median survival of about a year from diagnosis. Just three percent of patients afflicted with the fast-moving brain cancer survive 36 months. The standard of care for the treatment of the disease has not changed markedly since it was established 50 years ago.

But the effects of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy produce a range of biochemical responses in the brain that can fuel tumor cell survival at the same time doctors are attempting to eradicate the disease, according to Boston College Professor of Biology Thomas Seyfried, whose lab has researched ways to deny energy to cancer cells.

"All tumors, regardless of where they are located, require two major fuels for survival: glucose and glutamine," said Seyfried, a specialist in lipid biochemistry. "As long as tumor cells have access to these energy molecules, they will survive. If you give them a lot of these molecules, they will survive even better."

The three components of cerebral cancer care may play a role in providing tumor cells with the metabolic fuels they need to survive. While these treatments reduce tumor growth over the short term, radiation and certain chemotherapies could actually contribute to the high recurrence of these deadly tumors.

A growing body of research over the past decade, according to Seyfried, now shows the processes of radiation and chemotherapy can serve to increase the supply of glucose and glutamine, leading to conditions favorable to tumor cell survival and growth.

Furthermore, infection-fighting tumor-associated macrophages and monocytes (TAMs) that flood the brain in an effort to battle tumor cells can indirectly support tumor growth through the release of agents that lead to inflammation and the growth of blood vessels.

"What develops then is an escalating situation of biological chaos, where the intrinsic properties of TAMs to heal wounds increase the capacity of brain tumor cells to proliferate, invade, and self-renew," writes Seyfried and his co-authors, researchers Laura M. Shelton and Purna Mukherjee. "High glucose concentrations together with unrestricted glutamine availability will provide the energy necessary to drive this escalating situation."

Seyfried says this "perfect storm" of side-effects from the standard of care for glioblastoma should invite a broader discussion among researchers for potential alternative therapies. Through his past research, Seyfried has detailed the benefits of non-toxic metabolic therapies involving ketogenic diets that effectively restrict glucose-based fuels to brain tumors. By regulating glucose availability while simultaneously elevating fat-derived ketone bodies, which brain tumors cannot actively use for growth or survival, the ketogenic diet has been shown to control epileptic seizures, but there have been no human trials to test its therapeutic efficacy against brain cancer.


Contact: Ed Hayward
Boston College

Related biology news :

1. Study points to new uses, unexpected side effects of already existing drugs
2. Stress signals link pre-existing sickness with susceptibility to bacterial infection
3. Complications early in pregnancy or in previous pregnancies adversely affect existing or subsequent pregnancies
4. Nature cover study provides new standards for reliable fisheries
5. Gold Standard/Elsevier offers timely, reliable drug pricing data, including average wholesale price
6. Meet Phannie, NISTs standard phantom for calibrating MRI machines
7. Aware, Inc. Joins HIMSS10 Interoperability Showcase to Demonstrate Standards-Based Medical Image Sharing
8. Researchers develop standard of care for breast cancer survivors with lymphedema
9. Stent grafts top gold standard balloon angioplasty for dialysis patients
10. Quality and safety of infant formulas, functional foods enhanced by new standards
11. U. of I. business instructional facility achieves top green standard
Post Your Comments:
(Date:5/23/2017)... first robotic gym for the rehabilitation and functional motor sense evaluation of ... Italy . The first 30 robots will be available from June ... . The technology was developed and patented at the IIT laboratories and ... thanks to a 10 million euro investment from entrepreneur Sergio Dompè. ... ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... New York , April 19, 2017 ... competitive, as its vendor landscape is marked by the ... the market is however held by five major players ... Safran. Together these companies accounted for nearly 61% of ... of the leading companies in the global military biometrics ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... , April 11, 2017 Crossmatch®, a ... authentication solutions, today announced that it has been ... Research Projects Activity (IARPA) to develop next-generation Presentation ... "Innovation has been a driving force ... program will allow us to innovate and develop ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... At its national board meeting ... I. Sheikh, the co-founder, CEO and chief research scientist of Minnesota-based Advanced Space ... membership in ARCS Alumni Hall of Fame . ASTER Labs is a ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... 2017  VMS BioMarketing, a leading provider of patient support ... Nurse Educator (CNE) network, which will launch this week. The ... health care professionals to enhance the patient care experience by ... other health care professionals to help women who have been ... ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... 2017 , ... San Diego-based team building and cooking events company, Lajollacooks4u, has ... The bold new look is part of a transformation to increase awareness, appeal to ... period. , It will also expand its service offering from its signature gourmet cooking ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... CRUZ, Calif. , Oct. 10, 2017 ... grant from the NIH to develop RealSeq®-SC (Single Cell), ... kit for profiling small RNAs (including microRNAs) from single ... Analysis Program highlights the need to accelerate development of ... "New techniques for measuring ...
Breaking Biology Technology: