Sugar not only feels good, it is also used by all types of cells including cancerous ones to make ATP. Sugar exists in the body not as that extra large slice of cheesecake smothered with whipped cream, but rather as glycogen and can also be made from fat and even protein. Yet cancer cells, the Charlie Sheen manics of the body, require a lot of fuel to sustain their revved up metabolism. These bad boys prefer to break down sugar from glycogen by a process known as glycolysis ( hard word which probably won’t make any extra points on your next date) rather than via a longer process called oxidative phosphorylation ( and you wonder why it takes so long to be a doctor-just try to memorize phrases like that!)
So if the cancer cells need the juice fast and heavy-why not block their ability to break down the sugar(glycogen) into glucose and thus in a sense starve them? Well, some researchers with a helluva a lot more chemistry smarts than me, developed just such a comp0und called 3-bromopyruvate which blocks this process. In addition, they cleverly delivered this chemical through ultrasound. Tests were done on mice which had human breast cancer cells implanted in them. The tumors shrunk and there were no metastases or cancer spread compared with those luckless mice subjects which just got the cancer cells without the treatment.
While this treatment has been only tested in mice and not humans, it does offer the tantalizing possibility of freezing solid tumors with just ultrasound rather than more invasive and dangerous therapies such as surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. Remember no tests have yet been performed on humans. Many such promising therapies have fallen by the wayside due to unanticipated side effects or lack of real improvement when tested on humans. Nevertheless, you can rest assured that some biotech company is hot on the trail and already setting up human studies. Juniors everywhere get great articles right here from an essay pro.
Interestingly there are similar compounds approved by the FDA which rather than blocking glucose metabolism, block the growth of blood vessels or angiogenesis (yet another awkward expression) . Without blood vessels a tumor will die off. So, there has been some progress in denying cancer cells essential elements for their survival. However, scarfing that hostess twinkie or the reverse not scarfing that twinkie will in all probability not affect any cancers within us.