Causes and consequences of increased glucose metabolism of cancers

J Nucl Med. 2008 Jun;49 Suppl 2:24S-42S. doi: 10.2967/jnumed.107.047258.


In this review we examine the mechanisms (causes) underlying the increased glucose consumption observed in tumors within a teleological context (consequences). In other words, we will ask not only "How do cancers have high glycolysis?" but also, "Why?" We believe that the insights gained from answering the latter question support the conclusion that elevated glucose consumption is a necessary component of carcinogenesis. Specifically we propose that glycolysis is elevated because it produces acid, which provides an evolutionary advantage to cancer cells vis-à-vis normal parenchyma into which they invade.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Portrait
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cell Hypoxia
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / genetics
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / metabolism*
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / pathology
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Female
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Game Theory
  • Glucose / metabolism*
  • Glycolysis
  • History, 19th Century
  • History, 20th Century
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Neoplasms / history
  • Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / metabolism
  • Oncogenes / physiology
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Radiopharmaceuticals


  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Glucose