Aaron Keith Grant1, Pankaj K. Seth1, Elena Vinogradov1, Xiaoen Wang1, Robert E. Lenkinski1, Vikas P. Sukhatme1
Many cancers preferentially metabolize glucose via fermentative glycolysis (conversion of pyruvate into lactate) rather than oxidative metabolism, even when sufficient oxygen is available to support the TCA cycle. This phenomenon, known as the Warburg effect, may confer a survival advantage on tumor cells. It may be possible to selectively harm cancer cells using metabolic therapies that reverse this effect. Dichloroacetate (DCA) is a drug that up-regulates the activity of pyruvate dehydrogenase and hence may reduce the rate of fermentative glycolysis in cancer. Here we report on the use of hyperpolarized pyruvate to assess the response of tumors to DCA administration.