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NCI Cancer Center News

Multi-institute study finds protein controlling glucose metabolism also a tumor suppressor

  • Posted: December 7, 2012

A protein known to regulate how cells process glucose also appears to be a tumor suppressor, adding to the potential that therapies directed at cellular metabolism may help suppress tumor growth. In their report in the Dec. 7 issue of Cell, a multi-institutional research team describes finding that cells lacking the enzyme SIRT6, which controls how cells process glucose, quickly become cancerous. They also found evidence that uncontrolled glycolysis, a stage in normal glucose metabolism, may drive tumor formation in the absence of SIRT6 and that suppressing glycolysis can halt tumor formation. The research team included scientists from the Massachusetts General Hospital (a component of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute) and the University of Michigan, which is home to the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.

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NCI comprehensive cancer centers logoAmong the research institutions NCI funds across the United States, it currently designates 67 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.