In vivo analysis of lung cancer metabolism: Nothing like the real thing

Christopher T. Hensley, Ralph J. De Berardinis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Cancer cells exhibit altered metabolism compared with that of the surrounding tissue. There is hope that these reprogrammed metabolic pathways in tumors hold the key to advances for both cancer imaging and therapy. Translation of observations in cultured cancer cells to live tumors, however, has proven to be highly complex, and robust methods to analyze metabolic activity in primary human tumors are sorely needed. In this issue of the JCI, Sellers et al. use perioperative administration of isotope-labeled glucose to lung cancer patients to differentiate metabolic pathways between tumors and benign lung. They identify pyruvate carboxylation, a reaction that enables glucose-derived carbon to replenish TCA cycle intermediates, as a key component of anabolic metabolism in tumor cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)495-497
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Clinical Investigation
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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