Researchers uncover another source of energy for leukemia cells

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Exciting research out of MD Anderson Cancer Center and The University of Texas Medical School at Houston appears to show that leukemia cells not only get energy from glucose, they also depend on fatty acid metabolism in order to grow and to evade apoptosis (programmed cell death).

Although researchers urged there was still a lot of work to do, they also said that these findings were "potentially transformational" in terms of future methods to control the metabolism of cancer cells.

"The leukemia cells' appetite for fat seems to be formidable," said Heinrich Taegtmeyer, M.D., co-senior author of the study, published in Journal of Clinical Investigation. "More importantly, fat oxidation seems to promote leukemia cell survival. Conversely, shutting off fat oxidation makes the cells vulnerable to self-destruction. If these initial results hold up, inhibitors of fat oxidation may become a new way to treat leukemia patients."

By Ross Bonander

Source: MedicalNewsToday

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