What if I told you that one of the newest cancer treatment research methods had to do with glucose? Glucose is the basic unit practically all food is broken down into, and is used as an energy supply. By preventing cancerous cells from accessing glucose, could we kill them off?
This idea is being extensively researched, as scientists have discovered that whereas normal cells use the form of the enzyme pyruvate kinase known as PKM1 to utilize glucose, cancer cells use PKM2. Furthermore, studies have shown that PKM2 was inhibited by the presence of oxidants. In the presence of oxidants, PKM2 does not function properly, causing the cancerous cell to fail to be able to break down glucose into ATP through cellular respiration. Without an energy source, cancerous cells would be unable to form metabolic functions, causing them to die before they divide and spread.
Pyruvate kinase is an enzyme involved in glycolysis, and catalyzes the transfer of a phosphate group from phosphoenolpyruvate (PEP) to ADP. This process creates one molecule of pyruvate and one molecule of ATP.
For more information on this technique, check out this link: http://www.sciencemag.org/content/early/2011/11/02/science.1211485.abstract?sid=8fabf111-30ac-47a7-927c-1e7fdfaa600a
Also, for more information on PKM2, check out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PKM2