Theses Master's

The Warburg effect and its role in cancer detection and therapy

Christ, Ethan J.

The Warburg effect is a cellular phenomenon in cancer cells discovered by Otto Warburg in 1924. His findings showed that in normoxic conditions tumor cells primarily use glycolysis for energy production instead of mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation like normal cells. This breakthrough has been the basis for much research. It has resulted in a successful and widely-used cancer detection method, the positron emission tomography (PET) scan. The PET scan uses radioactive isotopes and the fact that cancer cells exhibit higher rates of glycolysis to pinpoint tumors with advanced imaging tools. Furthermore, Warburg's work helped to show the potential for beneficial pharmaceuticals that could be developed by inhibiting certain chemical mechanisms of glycolysis to specifically target and kill cancer cells. This review covers research that has used the Warburg effect as a premise and the heretofore indications and applications of the Warburg effect.



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Academic Units
M.S., Columbia University
Published Here
February 25, 2011