Researchers have found a drug called Elesclomol that blocks a metabolic pathway in cancer cells and that can starve them of the energy they need, ultimately killing them.
Dr. Stergios Moschos, a medical oncologist from UNC, explains how cancer cells can be destroyed, in saying, “Our results suggest that targeting oxidative phosphorylation in melanoma is a promising strategy for early metastatic disease, before melanoma cells switch their primary metabolic source to glycolysis, as Otto Warburg showed 60 years ago.”
Put simply, the aforementioned drug blocks the pathway that is responsible for the process of oxidative phosphorylation and that converts nutrients into energy which these cancer cells need to survive.
This finding has led researchers to conclude that cancer cells not only obtain energy from glycolysis (also known as the Wadburg effect) but also by using other metabolic pathways and which includes the process of oxidative phosphorylation.
During the study, the researchers used the drug, Elesclomol, to suppress this process and found that it can destroy cells in metastatic melanoma, which is the stage when cancer cells begin to spread throughout the body.
Four years ago, the FDA had stopped clinical trials as the agency had deemed it unsuitable to use this Elesclomol with other drugs for patients with high serum LDH levels. However, when this drug was used with patients with normal LDH levels, it proved to be very effective.
With these results, researchers have come to conclusion that the best way to treat cancer is to adopt a cancer treatment strategy that stops various metabolic pathways.
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