Sugar molecules on the surface of cells change their characteristics during development of cancer. Normal cells, as shown on the left, typically have long chains of sugar molecules (illustrated by circles filled with different colours and with the protein, that the chains are attached to, illustrated as a black line) that end in our blod type antigen like ABO. Cancer cells, on the contrary, often have truncated, immature chains of sugar molecules, as shown on the right.
Credit: University of Copenhagen
In co-operation with a research group from Singapore, scientists at University of Copenhagen have shown that immature sugar molecules in the form of truncated O-glycans aid growth properties of cancer cells. Previously, scientists have not been able to decode the significance of these truncated O-glycans, and therefore, the results, which were recently published in the journal PNAS, represent an important contribution to understanding the growth of cancer cells as well as the work towards developing a cure that can limit or stop the growth.
Catharina Steentoft, PhD student at Copenhagen Center for Glycomics and one of the scientists behind the results, stresses that this is basic science and there is still a long way from the results to actually developing a treatment or using them for diagnostic purposes. The results are still a cause for optimism, though.
“This is part of how we will proceed in the battle against cancer. When you know a certain process is important for the development of cancer you can start to consider ways to affect this process in a way that stops the cancer cell from taking advantage of it,” explains Catharina Steentoft.
Sugar molecules affect proteins
Sugar molecules play an important role in almost all of the processes taking place in the body. One of the ways in which sugar molecules affect us is through glycosylation, a process where sugar molecules are attached to proteins. The proteins are basically the building bricks of the body, whilst sugar molecules affect the proteins, and therefore play a significant role in the human organism. A flaw in a chain of sugar molecules can lead to protein malfunctioning and disease.
As early as 1982, scientists around the world realised the importance of sugar molecules for cancer. The American doctor and scientist Georg F. Springer discovered that a certain type of sugar molecules, the truncated O-glycans, were particularly prominent in cancer cells. The discovery of Catharina Steentoft and colleagues builds on the foundation of this knowledge.
Pinpointing ways to proceed
For 30 years, scientists all over the world have worked on using the truncated O-glycans as biomarkers for diagnostics and outcome-prediction, but now the group of researchers from Singapore and Copenhagen has finally pinpointed the significance of these sugar molecules — that they actually cause the cancer cells to grow and the cancer to spread more aggressively.
“We have now taken the first step towards understanding how cancer cells can change their glycosylation and produce these truncated O-glycans. It is a rather big step forward since it gives us an entirely new understanding of something we have worked many years to grasp. It guides our entire field of research towards new ways to proceed in the battle against cancer,” Catharina Steentoft says.
- D. J. Gill, K. M. Tham, J. Chia, S. C. Wang, C. Steentoft, H. Clausen, E. A. Bard-Chapeau, F. A. Bard. Initiation of GalNAc-type O-glycosylation in the endoplasmic reticulum promotes cancer cell invasiveness.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2013; 110 (34): E3152 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1305269110
First realize that even without being diagnosed with cancer, we all have at least a few cancerous cells floating around in our “inner terrain”. A decent immune system residing in a slightly alkaline or neutral pH inner terrain is able to fend them off and keep them from colonizing into tumorous masses.
On the other hand, those who indulge primarily in the SAD (Standard American Diet), which includes lots of factory farmed meat and junk foods saturated with refined sugars or high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), which processed foods use even with their non-sweet products to keep you addicted, along with all those refined carbs in refined grain baked products, are adding fuel (literally) to the fire of cancer.
Mainstream oncology ignores this 1930s Nobel Prize discovery by Otto Warburg, aka the “Warburg Effect”: When normal cells begin to lack oxygen respiration to utilize glucose and nutrients metabolically for cellular energy, they depend on fermenting sugar to thrive without oxygen and become cancerous.
Instead oncologists administer chemo IV therapies while giving their patients ice cream and cookies as the poison is injected into them. Big profits from the treatment and selling those toxic drugs at a profit also. “Cancer cells consume sugar about 19x faster than healthy cells.” – Dr. Murray Susser, MD
Mainstream medicine refuses to look into diet as a function of potential metabolic dysfunction that helps promote and maintain cancer while asserting genetic disposition as a primary cause of cancer.
Their hubris and incredible profits thrive from toxic interventions such as chemotherapy and radiation. The first concern with preventing or eliminating cancer should be what you put into your body. That gives you control over cancer.
It’s a no-brainer when it comes to avoiding sodas, juices with added sugars, pastries, candies, and processed foods that use processed grains and even add sugar or HFCS to foods that are not even sweet. That’s to keep you addicted even if you can’t taste it. Refined sugar is actually addictive, some claim it’s even as addictive as cocaine.
A Recent Study That Makes Sugar Carcinogenic
But now it’s even worse. Green Med Info has uncovered a study that seems to be hidden from the public eye and is certainly not welcome within our orthodox oncology system. It would cramp the food and soda business’s profits if refined sugar is seen as carcinogenic.
The study, “Increased sugar uptake promotes oncogenesis via EPAC/RAP1 and O-GlcNAc pathways” was published in the 2013-2014 Journal of Clinical Investigation (JCI). Because it is a free access journal, you can access the full text, not just the abstract, here.
I wonder how come this study hasn’t made much of a stir in our sick-care system since it is so accessible. Instead it was dug up by a research scout for Green Med Info.
It is of course full of biochemical details, which is what medical people are supposed to be familiar with. So for now, let’s be content with a layman’s summary report of their study, which was an in vitro (cultures, petri dishes, and test tubes) study as opposed to an in vivo (animal or human) study. This way they could really play around with and analyze the results with total control.
Here’s the bottom line of this study: Increased glucose uptake leads to early phases of cancer cell creation while curbing glucose intake reversed cancerous cells into normal cells. In other words, sugar is carcinogenic as well as fodder for already existing cancer cells.
For more info-