Metabolic reprogramming and its clinical application in thyroid cancer

Oncol Lett. 2019 Aug;18(2):1579-1584. doi: 10.3892/ol.2019.10485. Epub 2019 Jun 18.


Warburg found that tumor cells exhibit high-level glycolysis, even under aerobic condition, which is known as the 'Warburg effect'. As systemic changes in the entire metabolic network are gradually revealed, it is recognized that metabolic reprogramming has gone far beyond the imagination of Warburg. Metabolic reprogramming involves an active change in cancer cells to adapt to their biological characteristics. Thyroid cancer is a common endocrine malignant tumor whose metabolic characteristics have been studied in recent years. Some drugs targeting tumor metabolism are under clinical trial. This article reviews the metabolic changes and mechanisms in thyroid cancer, aiming to find metabolic-related molecules that could be potential markers to predict prognosis and metabolic pathways, or could serve as therapeutic targets. Our review indicates that knowledge in metabolic alteration has potential contributions in the diagnosis, treatment and prognostic evaluation of thyroid cancer, but further studies are needed for verification as well.

Keywords: metabolism; predictive factor; prognosis; targeted therapy; thyroid cancer.

Publication types

  • Review