Cancer cells generate energy differently than normal cells, a characteristic that helps them to survive and metastasize. A major goal in the field of cancer metabolism is to find ways to overcome this survival advantage.

Now a research team led by investigators in the Cancer Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) has found that targeting the enzyme responsible for the final step of glucose metabolism not only halts tumor growth in non-small-cell lung cancer, but actually leads to the regression of established tumors.

Importantly, the new findings, which appear online April 10 in the journal Cell Metabolism, also show that cancer initiating cells – tumor cells that possess stem-cell like characteristics which can give rise to new tumors – are susceptible to LDH-A inhibition.