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Sugar trail may lead to early cancer detection


Cancer detection
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(NaturalNews) Cancer remains one of the most-researched diseases all around the world, as international scientists work on research to broaden the understanding of every aspect of this disease – why and how it develops, grows and spreads within the human body. This knowledge hopefully then translates into medical techniques and treatments which can prevent cancer from starting, detect it in its earliest phases or treat it in such a way that minimal damage will be done to surrounding healthy tissues.

In other words, this research is not just important for the sake of academic knowledge – it can lead to ways to help save people's lives and make their quality of life better even after surviving the onset of this disease. One study which has this potential has recently come out of UCLA and has a lot of people talking.

The latest research from UCLA

Scientists from the UCLA have recently discovered a certain glucose pathway that encourages the growth – and spread – of cancerous tumors in the body. In other words, this is a means by which the body delivers to cancerous cells the sugar that they depend on for their survival.

One possible way in which this research could help is to stimulate the use of antidiabetic drugs to prevent tumor growth and formation. The idea here is that these drugs, which lower blood glucose levels, would essential "starve" the tumor and inhibit its access to the glucose that it survives on. If this protocol is successful, it could give clinicians fighting cancer another weapon in their arsenal in the fight against this particular disease.

The study in context

This research builds on knowledge gleaned from studies in the past, which found that there is indeed a connection between glucose levels and tumor development. Up until now, however, what has been blamed for tumor growth were passive glucose transporters which delivered sugars to the cancerous cells to encourage them to grow. What this study found, however, was a new and previously unsuspected pathway, called active glucose transport. This takes place via sodium-dependent glucose transporters (SLGTs).

Knowledge of this pathway is significant, because SLGTs can be detected through PET scans and can potentially provide a way for clinicians to detect the onset of cancer at a much earlier stage, which most experts agree greatly increases the patient's chances of surviving this disease. Scientists hope to continue with this line of research to learn more about the role of SLGTs in cancer development and also to look at antidiabetic drugs to see how effective they will be at inhibiting glucose transport to the cancer cells.

To sum up, the medical community is excited about this discovery for a number of reasons. First, it may well offer early detection options that clinicians did not have knowledge of before. Second, it might lead to the use of antidiabetic drugs to help with tumor control. Either way, it might mean a significant breakthrough for cancer detection and treatment – and this in turn could save many lives once it becomes a standard clinical procedure.

Sources:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com

http://www.tatkalnews.com

http://health.economictimes.indiatimes.com

About the author:
Sofiya has written articles on most health-related topics, including traditional medicine, alternative and naturopathic and natural treatments,health insurance, wellness, medical marijuana, diets and fitness.
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