How Cancer Fuels Itself: Christian Frezza Explains Metabolism of Cancer Types

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Jul 18 2020 23 mins   5
Christian Frezza focuses on tissue-specific carcinogenesis and specifically metabolic pathways in an attempt to achieve the prevention of cancer progression. In this podcast he addresses How tumor and metastases cells vary and why that's important, How a finding regarding intermediates in metabolism that have signaling roles connecting metabolic pathways to oncogenesis produced a paradigm shift in cancer studies, and Why scientists are attempting to use more sophisticated approaches to starving cancer such as targeting two different metabolic pathways simultaneously. Christian Frezza works at the Medical Research Council (MRC) as a program leader in the MRC Cancer Unit at the University of Cambridge, a unit that investigates carcinogens, other cancer causes, differentiations between functionality of cancer types, and the prevention of cancer. His lab focuses specifically on metabolic determinants of cancerous transformation, which means understanding how cancer cells find their nutrients to grow and proliferate. He explains that this area of research is very exciting because they are revealing new aspects of cancer biology that can address therapies for different cancer types as well as a way to understand carcinogens. He explains how tumors and metastases have very different the nutrient needs. For example, a metastasis has a metabolism need closer to the nutrient needs of tissue around it. Furthermore, while they know that all cancer causes increased glucose consumption, there are many differences between how cancer types metabolize. He describes two important questions of his research: first, whether they can restrict some specific nutrients to affect growth; and second, if they can find that by using specific nutrients, they can identify certain markers of cancer transformation through identifying metabolites. Finally, overall this research will help understand the pathophysiology of cancer and mechanistic aspects of it. He also explains complications of the research and their findings as well as important steps and discoveries in the field. To learn more, see his lab's website at and follow him on twitter as @FrezzaLab. Available on Apple Podcasts: