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  • Posted: 05/25/2012

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NCI Cancer Center News

In study by the Broad Institute and Massachusetts General, new clues about cancer cell metabolism emerge

For almost a century, researchers have known that cancer cells have peculiar appetites, devouring glucose in ways that normal cells do not. But glucose uptake may tell only part of cancer’s metabolic story. Researchers from the Broad Institute and Massachusetts General Hospital looked across 60 well-studied cancer cell lines, analyzing which of more than 200 metabolites were consumed or released by the fastest dividing cells. Their research yields the first large-scale atlas of cancer metabolism and points to a key role for the smallest amino acid, glycine, in cancer cell proliferation. Their results appear in the May 25 issue of the journal Science.

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Among the research institutions NCI funds across the United States, it currently designates 66 as Cancer Centers. Largely based in research universities, these facilities are home to many of the NCI-supported scientists who conduct a wide range of intense, laboratory research into cancer’s origins and development. The Cancer Centers Program also focuses on trans-disciplinary research, including population science and clinical research. The centers’ research results are often at the forefront of studies in the cancer field.