Proton pump inhibition and cancer therapeutics: A specific tumor targeting or it is a phenomenon secondary to a systemic buffering?

Enrico Spugnini, Stefano Fais

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

One of the unsolved mysteries in oncology includes the strategies that cancer cells adopt to cope with an adverse microenvironment. However, we knew, from the Warburg's discovery that through their metabolism based on sugar fermentation, cancer cells acidify their microenvironment and this progressive acidification induces a selective pressure, leading to the development of very malignant cells entirely armed to survive in the hostile microenvironment generated by their own metabolism. In the last decades a primordial role for proton exchangers has been supported as a key tumor advantage in facing off the acidic milieu. Proton exchangers do not allow intracellular acidification through a continuous elimination of H+ either outside the cells or within the internal vacuoles. This article wants to comment a translational process through that led to the preclinical demonstration that a class of proton pump inhibitors (PPI) exploited worldwide for peptic ulcer treatment and gastroprotection are indeed powerful chemosensitizers as well. In this process we achieved the clinical proof of concept that PPI may well be included in new anti-cancer strategies with a solid background and rationale.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-118
Number of pages8
JournalSeminars in Cancer Biology
Volume43
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2017

Keywords

  • Chemosensitization
  • Lansoprazole
  • Pantoprazole
  • Proton pump inhibitors
  • Tumor acidity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Proton pump inhibition and cancer therapeutics: A specific tumor targeting or it is a phenomenon secondary to a systemic buffering?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this