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NCI Cancer Center News

MIT-led study finds turning on key enzyme blocks tumor formation

  • Posted: August 28, 2012

Unlike ordinary cells, cancer cells devote most of their energy to reproducing themselves. To do this, they must trigger alternative metabolic pathways that produce new cellular building blocks, such as DNA, carbohydrates and lipids. Chemical compounds that disrupt an enzyme critical to this metabolic diversion prevent tumors from forming in mice, according to an MIT-led study appearing online in Nature Chemical Biology on Aug. 26. MIT is home to the David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research.

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Among 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.