A group of scientists from the University of California, USA, determined the mechanism by which cancer cells absorb glucose and release energy for the survival and growth of a tumor.
At the same time, the content of a specific molecule allows you to detect a precancerous condition that causes cells to grow, writes the online edition MedicalXpress.
Experts have found that the protein used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes plays an important role in the formation of new tumor formations. According to their data, one of the main suppliers of "food" for cancer cells is a co-transporter 2 (SGLT2), which is responsible for the transfer of glucose into the cell.
Cancer cells need glucose to survive and grow. Therefore, they need a lot of transport proteins, glucose transporters.
Previous studies have shown that SGLT2 may play an important role in the development of certain types of cancer, including pancreatic and prostate cancers.
Using positron emission tomography, the researchers determined the activity of various glucose transporters in cancer cells at different stages of their development. Thus, they found that these cells contain a large amount of SGLT2. According to scientists, this suggests that the newly formed tumors provide carbohydrates mainly through SGLT2, and not through glucose transporters.
After analyzing their data, the researchers also found that an increase in SGLT2 can occur before a tumor develops, making this specific protein a marker for early detection of the disease.
The discovery of American scientists may affect early cancer prevention methods.