Multi-modality imaging to assess metabolic response to dichloroacetate treatment in tumor models

Vella S, Conti M, Tasso R, Cancedda R, Pagano A.

SOURCE: INT JOURNAL OF CANCER. 2012 APR 1;130(7):1484-93. DOI: 10.1002/IJC.26173. EPUB 2011 AUG 27

Department of Oncology, Biology, and Genetics (DOBiG), University of Genoa, Italy.


Recently, research has shown that the small, water-soluble molecule Dichloroacetate (DCA) can inhibit the growth of human tumors by specifically targeting the mitochondria of cancer cells without affecting the physiology of nonmalignant cells. This research has sparked intense interest in the field of cancer therapy. One of the tumor forms on which DCA was thought to be ineffective was neuroblastoma is because its cells had few known mitochondrial abnormalities. However, neuroblastoma is made up of several cell types with diverse metabolisms, phenotypes, and malignant potential. In contrast to the aforementioned prediction, we demonstrate in this work that I DCA has an unexpected anticancer effect on NB tumor cells, and (ii) this effect is specifically directed at the more differentiated/less malignant NB cells, whereas the more malignant NB cells are resistant to DCA treatment. The need for a thorough examination of DCA’s anticancer effects against this tumor type in order to potentially use it as a therapeutic agent is supported by this discovery.

Copyright © 2011 UICC.