Targeting Cancer Metabolism and Current Anti-Cancer Drugs

Witchuda Sukjoi, Jarunya Ngamkham, Paul V. Attwood, Sarawut Jitrapakdee

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperChapterpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Several studies have exploited the metabolic hallmarks that distinguish between normal and cancer cells, aiming at identifying specific targets of anti-cancer drugs. It has become apparent that metabolic flexibility allows cancer cells to survive during high anabolic demand or the depletion of nutrients and oxygen. Cancers can reprogram their metabolism to the microenvironments by increasing aerobic glycolysis to maximize ATP production, increasing glutaminolysis and anabolic pathways to support bioenergetic and biosynthetic demand during rapid proliferation. The increased key regulatory enzymes that support the relevant pathways allow us to design small molecules which can specifically block activities of these enzymes, preventing growth and metastasis of tumors. In this review, we discuss metabolic adaptation in cancers and highlight the crucial metabolic enzymes involved, specifically those involved in aerobic glycolysis, glutaminolysis, de novo fatty acid synthesis, and bioenergetic pathways. Furthermore, we also review the success and the pitfalls of the current anti-cancer drugs which have been applied in pre-clinical and clinical studies.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
Subtitle of host publicationProteomics, Metabolomics, Interactomics and Systems Biology
PublisherSpringer Heidelberg
Number of pages34
EditionPart II
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-55034-9, 978-3-030-55035-6
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Publication series

NameAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
ISSN (Print)0065-2598
ISSN (Electronic)2214-8019


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