Scientists slow cancer growth by starving melanoma cells
Researchers in Australia say they may have found a new treatment for skin cancer--starving melanoma cells.
The scientists built on previous success with prostate cells, and their findings could lead to new drugs that control a range of cancers.
Normal cells use glucose to fuel their energy needs to grow and divide, but melanoma and other cancers rely on the amino acid glutamine, which they suck in through pumps scattered over their cell surface. Researchers found that melanoma cells have more glutamine pumps on the surface, and that blocking those pumps stopped them from growing.
Researchers say a new drug that blocks this pump is still about five to 10 years away, but would provide a new and different approach to fighting the deadliest form of skin cancer.