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Ravenous for Glucose

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Science  06 Jan 2012:
Vol. 335, Issue 6064, pp. 31
DOI: 10.1126/science.335.6064.31

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In the 1920s, German biochemist Otto Warburg observed that tumor cells can survive without oxygen and generate energy by a relatively inefficient process known as aerobic glycolysis. This conversion of cancer cell metabolism to aerobic glycolysis has been known as the Warburg effect ever since. One result is that cancer cells have to burn enormous amounts of glucose to thrive and multiply. But researchers still don't know which comes first: the metabolism change or the cancer.