Monday, July 8, 2013

How Cancer Research May Be Helped By Amino Acid Hunger

By Rob Sutter

It's tough to look at cancer research and figure out where the specific origins of the condition rest. Some believe that it was genetic while others could make the assumption that it has more to do with the environment than anything else. Whatever the case may be, it is apparent that there are certain triggers which can build upon the condition which is had. After looking at one report in particular, it seems like amino acids hold more of a role than we ever would have thought.

The report in question was posted on Science Daily and it talked about how a particular enzyme which breaks down amino acids may be the one to pinpoint. This was uncovered after attempts were made to build upon therapies and it seems like this finding has some merit to it. After all, tumors need high amounts of energy in order to build, therefore making them more aggressive. It appears as though these amino acids may be able to grant the kind of fuel which is required.

I believe that tumors, while fueled by amino acids, cannot look at these as the only source. For example, sugar is consumed regularly and in the body, it makes the transformation into glucose. This is utilized in order to keep the brain operational and every part of it is nourished, which means that the tumors are entailed too. You can make the argument that the ketogenic diet can help patients, though, since it has more of an emphasis on good fats as opposed to sugar sources.

The report also went into detail about isocitrate dehydrogenase - or IDH - and the role it played. With cancer research done in the past, it has become apparent that this gene was found mutated in patients. The observation focused a great deal on glioblastoma, which organizations along the lines of Voices Against Brain Cancer can say is the most prevalent tumor type known. With such findings coming about, it seems like therapy will be assisted in a number of ways, though this will occur in due time.

I, for one, am always open to reading stories involving cancer research since it seems like we find out something new each day. Today, it was a matter of me reading up on amino acids and how the breakdown of them can cause tumors to become more aggressive. What does this mean for the future, you may wonder? I can only hope that it plays into said future in such a way that we will be able to see even more therapies constructed over the course of time.

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