An update on therapeutic opportunities offered by cancer glycolytic metabolism

Carlotta Granchi, Daniele Fancelli, Filippo Minutolo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Almost all invasive cancers, regardless of tissue origin, are characterized by specific modifications of their cellular energy metabolism. In fact, a strong predominance of aerobic glycolysis over oxidative phosphorylation (Warburg effect) is usually associated with aggressive tumour phenotypes. This metabolic shift offers a survival advantage to cancer cells, since they may continue to produce energy and anabolites even when they are exposed to either transient or permanent hypoxic conditions. Moreover, it ensures a high production rate of glycolysis intermediates, useful as building blocks for fast cell proliferation of cancer cells. This peculiar metabolic profile may constitute an ideal target for therapeutic interventions that selectively hit cancer cells with minimal residual systemic toxicity. In this review we provide an update about some of the most recent advances in the discovery of new bioactive molecules that are able to interfere with cancer glycolysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4915-4925
Number of pages11
JournalBioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2014


  • Antitumor agents
  • Cancer metabolism
  • Glycolysis
  • Hypoxia
  • Warburg effect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Drug Discovery
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Medicine(all)


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