Summary: why do cancers have high aerobic glycolysis Authors: Robert A. Gatenby* and Robert J.

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Summary: why do cancers have high aerobic glycolysis
Authors: Robert A. Gatenby* and Robert J. Gillies‡
Carsinogenesis is not something that occurs spontaniously, it is something that occurs by somatic evolution. As it is evolving, it retains phynotypic properties that will help it have a better fitness and growth rate. One of the property that is obseserved in invasive cancer is upregulation of glucose. Because of this observation, many studyies with different hypothesis have emerged trying to explain this this property in cancer cells. Louis Pasteur was one of the first scientists that showed that oxygen can inhibit glycolysis specifically the fermentation process in the presence of oxygen. This observation was known as the ‘pasteur
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Even if this is difficult to understand, scientists are trying to figure out what advantages this selection brings to the cells. They believe that this form of glycolysis is necessary for the proliferation of cancer cells.
The microenvironment in pre-malignant lesions
The oxygen supply in cancer cells is determined by their vascular network. As pre-malignant lesions they are highly vascularized but as they keep growing their vascular network becomes very irregular and inefficient. There is a basement membrane that separates the hyperplastic epithelia from the vascular stroma where the blood supply is. As the tumor cells keeps growing the distance from its blood supply increases. This greater distance means that there will be less oxygen and less glucose available. As a result, cancer cells select for traits that will help them have better fitness in a scarce environment. This could be an explanation of why cancer cells select for the more inefficient and toxic glycolytic phynotype.
Emergence of the glycolytic phenotype
Factors that influence cell proliferation in normal cells include interaction with other cells and the extracellular matrix and levels of growth factors. An important point to note is that normal cell proliferation is not constrained by substrate availability. If mutations occur in some of the cells they will continue to replicate

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