Medical Research

Hazy Cancer–Sugar Association Becomes Clearer

The BBC recently reported that a UK-based cancer charity, Macmillan, has appointed a nurse to combat “fake news” about cancer online. “Digital nurse,” Ellen McPake said she was there to “make sure people affected by cancer have a real person they can turn to online for information about their symptoms, cancer diagnosis, and treatment”. She explains that: “Once the doctor says ‘cancer’, people who are diagnosed with this devastating disease automatically shut down and they don’t take in the information that they’re given. So they go home, speak to their family. And then they’ll sit online that night and get themselves into a frenzy with what they’re reading. There’s quite a lot of myths out there,” – and she is, therefore, attempting to address some of them online.

Although I agree with her intent and some of the opinions she sets forth on these so-called myths, caution should also be taken with her views as the last word since new findings on cancer and treatments, as well their interpretations, are being reported almost daily that change our knowledge and perception of this devastating disease.

One particular case that is striking, and close to what we have been researching at the Lampidis 2-DG Innovation Lab, is her thoughts on the association between cancer and sugar. She says there is no hard evidence that sugar causes cancer even though it has long been known that there is a link between obesity and diabetes and by extension an increased risk of cancer. As of last month, however, this link became a lot clearer in a report in GEN magazine titled, “Hazy Cancer–Sugar Association Becomes Clearer” – in which new evidence from a collaborative team of Belgian researchers at the University of Leuven (KU Leuven), the University of Brussels (VUB), and the Vlaams Institute for Biotechnology (VIB) clarified how rapid breakdown of sugar stimulates tumor growth.

Their discovery that a breakdown product of glucose metabolism known as fructose-1,6-bisphosphate is directly linked to stimulating the expression of RAS, one of the most widely found cancer-causing genes (oncogenes), provides evidence for a positive correlation between sugar and cancer, which may have far-reaching implications on tailor-made diets for cancer patients.

This new breakthrough data further supports our development of 2-deoxy-D-glucose, better known as 2-DG, as a universal treatment for cancer by blocking the utilization of glucose in tumors and thereby preventing the stimulation of cancer-causing genes.