Ovarian cancer remains one of the deadliest types of cancer, primarily due to the difficulty of early detection. The lack of distinct symptoms mean that by the time a diagnosis is made, cancer cells have already spread to other parts of the body.
To further complicate treatment, high-grade serous ovarian cancer also commonly develops resistance to chemotherapy. These barriers have necessitated new research into novel approaches, particularly into treatment that remains effective in the later stages of the disease.
One promising avenue of research is targeting the citric acid cycle, the subject of a recent study detailed in Molecular Cancer Research. By blocking the enzyme isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1), which plays a central role in this cycle, researchers were able to halt the proliferation of high-grade serous ovarian cancer cells.
This type of treatment offers potential benefits over targeting glycolysis, used in many current treatments, because this is the favoured route of converting sugar to energy for healthy cells. Thus targeting glycolysis may damage healthy tissue, whereas the citric acid cycle is more favoured by cancer cells rather than healthy cells.
Perhaps more importantly, blocking IDH1 seems to arrest the reproduction of cells that have already spread from the primary tumor site. This could mean that this treatment will be more effective in later stages of the disease.
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Source: Medical News Today