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Open Access Open Badges Editorial

Why Cancer & Metabolism? Why now?

Chi Van Dang1 and Michael Pollak2

Author Affiliations

1 Abramson Cancer Center, 3400 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA

2 2 Segal Cancer Centre and McGill University, 3755 Cote-Ste-Catherine, Montreal, Quebec H3T 1E2, Canada

Cancer & Metabolism 2013, 1:1  doi:10.1186/2049-3002-1-1

Published: 23 January 2013

First paragraph (this article has no abstract)

The identification of oncogenic driver mutations of many cancers by deep sequencing is validating the oncogene versus tumor suppressor paradigm of tumorigenesis. At the same time, there is a profound resurgence of interest in metabolism in the context of neoplasia, both at the whole-organism level with respect to the influence of caloric intake on cancer behavior, and at the cellular level, with respect to possible therapeutic exploitation of differences between the metabolism of normal and cancer cells. The rapid expansion of research on metabolic aspects of neoplasia has improved our understanding of how oncogenes and tumor suppressors are linked to altered cancer cell metabolism, and how altered metabolism, in turn, affect the cancer epigenome. Enzymes of key metabolic pathways are mutated in specific types of cancers, linking oncogenic alterations to perturbed metabolism. Newly identified metabolic pathways have also emerged as the flexibility of re-wired cancer cell metabolism is appreciated. Much of this development has been enabled by better tools to study the genome as well as cellular metabolism.