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Cancer Discov. 2012 Oct;2(10):881-98. doi: 10.1158/2159-8290.CD-12-0345. Epub 2012 Sep 25.

Cancer cell metabolism: one hallmark, many faces.

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Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, Nine Cambridge Center, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA.


Cancer cells must rewire cellular metabolism to satisfy the demands of growth and proliferation. Although many of the metabolic alterations are largely similar to those in normal proliferating cells, they are aberrantly driven in cancer by a combination of genetic lesions and nongenetic factors such as the tumor microenvironment. However, a single model of altered tumor metabolism does not describe the sum of metabolic changes that can support cell growth. Instead, the diversity of such changes within the metabolic program of a cancer cell can dictate by what means proliferative rewiring is driven, and can also impart heterogeneity in the metabolic dependencies of the cell. A better understanding of this heterogeneity may enable the development and optimization of therapeutic strategies that target tumor metabolism.

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