Metabolic Reprogramming as a Target for Cancer and Other Diseases
When the problem of cancer is approached from the perspective of animal metabolic physiology, the first question to ask is: How is the metabolism of abnormally proliferating tissue different from the metabolism of resting tissue? This is how Otto Warburg began his research into tumor metabolism in the first half of the twentieth century. In spite of the advances made by this and other authors, mainly in relation to the energetic and respiratory metabolism in Ehrlich ascitic tumor cells and in other cellular models that later followed, the genomic era monopolized by right the second half of the last century. It was necessary to wait until the first decade of the 21st century to resume the metabolic perspective. The genomic and technological inheritance now reformulates the concept as "metabolic reprogramming", understood as a process of transformation of energy, matter and transduction of information and identifies this metabolic reprogramming as one of the hallmarks of cancer. Hence, it made sense that targeting the metabolism of cancer cells could open new avenues for the treatment of cancer, as it seems to have been the case.
The previous paragraph justifies the current interest of celebrating congresses, conferences, meetings and workshops on the general topic “Metabolism and Cancer”. The present workshop focuses on "Metabolic Reprogramming as a Target for Cancer and Other Diseases". From this perspective, we now know that the reprogramming of metabolism also occurs in other non-tumor cell types, such as those that could be part of the tumor microenvironment, particularly in the metabolism of endothelial cells during angiogenesis or in the inflammatory response, as well as in other pathological processes. The current objective is not only the study of a deregulated metabolism within an altered physiological process, but it is also necessary to search for therapeutic and pharmacological targets that could help us to understand and redirect the pathological development of certain diseases.