NEW PUBLICATION: Fructose metabolism by cancer cells provides them with a survival benefit

NEW PUBLICATION: Fructose metabolism by cancer cells provides them with a survival benefit

– This metabolism has been directly measured for the first time using microcalorimetry

(STOCKHOLM) Symcel— a company providing real-time metabolic measurements for cell culture with their product the calScreener™  ̶  was recently involved in a publication investigating how neuroblastoma cancer cells metabolise different sugars. 

Like other cancers, neuroblastomas have an increased need for energy. It can be difficult to acquire that energy in the tumor microenvironment which can be devoid of nutrients and lacks oxygen. Under these oxygen limiting conditions, it can be difficult for tumor cells to produce energy via normal metabolic pathways relying on glucose. A team led by Professor Stephanie Gros from the University Children’s Hospital Basel, set out to understand how cancer cells may use other sugars to survive the difficult conditions in the tumour microenvironment.

They set about measuring cancer cells growing in different kinds of growth media and measuring the total metabolic profile using microcalorimetry in the calScreener. They discovered that media enriched with fructose increased the metabolism of the neuroblastoma cells, indicating that access to fructose would help them to survive. As fructose can be metabolised anaerobically by neuroblastoma cells, this could explain how they can meet their high metabolic needs in a relatively harsh environment.

Understanding how cancer cells survive and grow is the key to developing new therapies and treatments. 

Read publication here:


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About Symcel

Symcel is leading a new era in metabolic measurements for use in rapid diagnostics and improved therapies. They provide a novel cell-based assay tool for real-time cellular metabolism measurements. Their solution is a fast, label-free phenotypic screening technology for direct measurements on cell behaviour and drug responses. Symcel was founded in 2004 by Dr. Dan Hallén and Prof. Ingemar Wadsö, leading authorities in bioactivity measurements. The current team at Symcel has extensive experience within the biotechnology industry and diagnostics.