In a German biochemist, named Otto Warburg, hypothesized that the primary cause of cancer was a dysfunctional metabolic process causing cancer cells to utilize large amounts of energy glucose. Then, his theory was considered controversial and implausible, but over the last decade his theory has sparked new interest in the dysregulated energetics seen in tumor cells. This dependence on glucose allows oncologists to use positron emission tomography PET scans to locate tumors within a patients body. By mixing radiolabeled dye with sugar glucose they can follow where the highest amount of glucose is being consumed in the body. The same year that Warburg made his discovery the Ketogenic Diet was discovered to be beneficial for epilepsy. The Ketogenic Diet was designed to mimic the effects of starvation on the body, when it was discovered that fasting helped to relieve difficult to control seizures. Tumor cells have an increased reliance on glucose, suggesting that treatments affecting cellular metabolism may be an effective method to improve current therapies. Indeed, metabolism has been a focus of cancer research in the last few years, as many pathways long associated with tumor growth have been found to intersect metabolic pathways in the cell. The ketogenic diet high fat, low carbohydrate and protein, caloric restriction, and fasting all cause a metabolic change — specifically, a reduction in blood glucose and an increase in blood ketones. Wolf, Scheck, When this happens all sources of glucose are utilized within the body and it is forced to produce a new source of energy.
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