Dr Saverio Tardito - Oncometabolism


Tardito 2023

At the foundation of cellular and tissue growth stands transfer of chemical energy from nutrients into macromolecules. Tumours are no exception to this principle, and unavoidably seek metabolic states that support anabolism and growth.

Our vision is that the tissue of origin influences the biochemical pathways utilized by tumours to grow in two ways. On the one hand by imposing environmental constraints, the tissue of origin exposes metabolic vulnerabilities of the tumour. On the other hand, enzymes normally restricted to a defined population of differentiated cells, and required for tissue physiological functions, can be hijacked by cancer cells to enhance their metabolic fitness. These concepts apply for instance to glutamine and glutamate. These amino acids are instrumental to physiological processes, such as neurotransmission in brain, and ammonia homeostasis in liver, but are at the same time obligate substrates for anabolism of glioma and hepatocellular carcinoma.

If cancer cells divert specific nutrients towards anabolism, or hijack physiological processes to gain a selective advantage, therapeutic targets which spare organ functions while interfering with tumour growth, await to be discovered by our research.

For Plasmax™ cell culture medium, please visit www.cancertools.org

Read The Atlantic's article on Saverio's work to improve cell culture media here: Scientists Have Been Studying Cancers in a Very Strange Way for Decades

Read Trends in Molecular Medicine's article about Saverio's journey in science: Stories in Molecular Medicine

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