Aggressive breast cancers store sugar to enable it to spread

(All4Women) — Cancer cells – especially the more aggressive ones – seem to have an ability to change. It’s how they evade treatment and spread throughout the body.

But how does a cancer cell have the energy it needs to do this?

Researchers recently found that aggressive breast cancers store glycogen in very large amounts, offering an explanation of how cells can change their function to evade treatment, grow and spread. Targeting an enzyme involved in this process could potentially treat or prevent metastases.

“We wondered if a cancer cell that wants to change its function can redirect energy not because it takes on new energy but because it has a stored reservoir of potential energy,” says Sofia D. Merajver, M.D., Ph.D., professor of internal medicine and epidemiology at the University of Michigan and a researcher at the University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center. (…)

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