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Ben-Gurion University

Israeli Experts Discover How Cancer Cells Survive, and How to Starve Them

Researchers at Ben-Gurion University have discovered the mechanism that allows cancer cells to survive despite lacking the glucose necessary for their existence. This discovery may pave the way for new treatments for various cancerous tumors in the future.

The findings were recently published in a prestigious journal. “Living organisms feed on sugar to survive,” explains Professor Barak Rotblat, one of the researchers and a lecturer from the Department of Life Sciences and the National Institute for Biotechnology in the Negev (NIBN) at Ben-Gurion University.

“Cancer cells love sugar too. This characteristic is used in one of the common methods for diagnosing cancer metastases through PET CT scans, during which radioactive sugar is injected into the patient.”

“We discovered that a protein called EBP4 regulates the rate at which the cell produces fat according to its energy status. When we observed the clinical data, we saw that this protein is produced at higher levels in cancer cells compared to normal tissue,” Rotblat explains.

“We performed genetic manipulation and so disrupted the specific gene that causes the metabolic switch during glucose starvation, creating human, mouse and yeast cells with low levels of EBP4. We found that they don’t survive glucose starvation. Moreover, we discovered that when these cells are implanted in mice, not only do they fail to survive glucose starvation, but they are also impaired in their ability to form tumors,” Rotblat added. (YNet / VFI News)

“God, we thank You for giving us insight into the Wisdom with which You crafted this world. We also thank You for gifting us scientists who are able to unravel such mysteries and use the knowledge for the benefit of mankind. We are extremely grateful for You and them, and we trust that the current discovery will help millions of people who are plagued by this disease.”

The suggestions, opinions, and scripture references made by VFI News writers and editors are based on the best information received.

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