Proton dynamics in cancer

Veronica Huber, Angelo De Milito, Salvador Harguindey, Stephan J. Reshkin, Miriam L. Wahl, Cyril Rauch, Antonio Chiesi, Jacques Pouysségur, Robert A. Gatenby, Licia Rivoltini, Stefano Fais

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cancer remains a leading cause of death in the world today. Despite decades of research to identify novel therapeutic approaches, durable regressions of metastatic disease are still scanty and survival benefits often negligible. While the current strategy is mostly converging on target-therapies aimed at selectively affecting altered molecular pathways in tumor cells, evidences are in parallel pointing to cell metabolism as a potential Achilles' heel of cancer, to be disrupted for achieving therapeutic benefit. Critical differences in the metabolism of tumor versus normal cells, which include abnormal glycolysis, high lactic acid production, protons accumulation and reversed intra-extracellular pH gradients, make tumor site a hostile microenvironment where only cancer cells can proliferate and survive. Inhibiting these pathways by blocking proton pumps and transporters may deprive cancer cells of a key mechanism of detoxification and thus represent a novel strategy for a pleiotropic and multifaceted suppression of cancer cell growth.

Original languageEnglish
Article number57
JournalJournal of Translational Medicine
Publication statusPublished - Jun 15 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)


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