Metabolic targets for cancer therapy

Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2013 Nov;12(11):829-46. doi: 10.1038/nrd4145. Epub 2013 Oct 11.


Malignant cells exhibit metabolic changes, when compared to their normal counterparts, owing to both genetic and epigenetic alterations. Although such a metabolic rewiring has recently been indicated as yet another general hallmark of cancer, accumulating evidence suggests that the metabolic alterations of each neoplasm represent a molecular signature that intimately accompanies and allows for different facets of malignant transformation. During the past decade, targeting cancer metabolism has emerged as a promising strategy for the development of selective antineoplastic agents. Here, we discuss the intimate relationship between metabolism and malignancy, focusing on strategies through which this central aspect of tumour biology might be turned into cancer's Achilles heel.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy / methods*
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects


  • Antineoplastic Agents