Cancer needs energy to drive its growth out of control. It is obtained in the form of glucose, in fact, it consumes so much glucose that a method of diagnostic imaging (PET) is based on finding areas of extreme glucose consumption: And where there is consumption, there is cancer. But how does cancer get this glucose?
A study by the University of Colorado Cancer Center, published in the journal ‘Cancer Cell’, shows that leukemia reduces the ability of normal cells to consume glucose, leaving more glucose available to fuel their own growth.
Craig T Jordan, of the Cancer Center of the University of Colorado, collects this scientific finding and discusses in his blog that the results of study suggest that, like diabetes, cancer strategies depend on insulin. A fundamental part of the new findings is that some of the factors that help regulate glucose are produced by the intestine or its bacteria. According to the study, the composition of the microbiome in leukemic animals was different from that of the control mice.
An important difference in the bowels of the leukemic mice was the lack of a specific type of bacteria known as bacteroids. Bacteroids produce short chain fatty acids that in turn nourish the health of the cells lining the intestine.. And the current study shows that without bacteroids, intestinal health suffers in ways that specifically help cancer.