Targeting metabolic transformation for cancer therapy

Nat Rev Cancer. 2010 Apr;10(4):267-77. doi: 10.1038/nrc2817. Epub 2010 Mar 19.


Cancer therapy has long relied on the rapid proliferation of tumour cells for effective treatment. However, the lack of specificity in this approach often leads to undesirable side effects. Many reports have described various 'metabolic transformation' events that enable cancer cells to survive, suggesting that metabolic pathways might be good targets. There are currently several drugs under development or in clinical trials that are based on specifically targeting the altered metabolic pathways of tumours. This Review highlights pathways against which there are already drugs in different stages of development and also discusses additional druggable targets.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Cell Hypoxia / drug effects
  • DNA Replication / drug effects
  • DNA, Neoplasm / drug effects
  • Drug Delivery Systems
  • Drug Design
  • Glycolysis / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Survivors


  • DNA, Neoplasm