Kiwi and Australian scientists have recently published some research findings in the major journal Cell Metabolism unveiling how understanding the mitochondrial function could open new pathways in the battle against cancer.
This breakthrough study shows that when deprived of mitochondria cancer cells couldn’t form new strands of DNA – effectively stopping them from growing and forming tumors. This suggests that blocking the access of cancer cells to mitochondria could lead to new targets for research and potentially fresh treatments in the battle against cancer.
As it turns out, it wasn’t just the energy-producing abilities of the mitochondria that cancer cells sought out, but that the mitochondria were also essential for making precursors of nucleic acids – the building blocks of our DNA. So even though cancer cells can continue to survive without energy from the mitochondria, they cannot grow without the ability to form new strands of DNA, which we now know the mitochondria play a vital role in.
This new information opens an entire new target for cancer treatment. If we can effectively target this function within the mitochondria, we open the doors to what could potentially be cancers Achilles Heel.
It would seem, now more than ever, that truly understanding mitochondrial health is highly important to human health.
Reviewed by: Brendon Woodhead/ PhD., MSc., BSc.