Understanding the Intersections between Metabolism and Cancer Biology

Cell. 2017 Feb 9;168(4):657-669. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2016.12.039.


Transformed cells adapt metabolism to support tumor initiation and progression. Specific metabolic activities can participate directly in the process of transformation or support the biological processes that enable tumor growth. Exploiting cancer metabolism for clinical benefit requires defining the pathways that are limiting for cancer progression and understanding the context specificity of metabolic preferences and liabilities in malignant cells. Progress toward answering these questions is providing new insight into cancer biology and can guide the more effective targeting of metabolism to help patients.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Triphosphate / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic
  • Citric Acid Cycle
  • Humans
  • Metabolic Networks and Pathways*
  • NADP / metabolism
  • Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Nucleotides / biosynthesis


  • Nucleotides
  • NADP
  • Adenosine Triphosphate