A new study of non-diabetic women with ovarian cancer reveals a potential correlation and area for further study regarding the expression of the GLUT1 glucose transporter receptor at the cancer tissue level. GLUT1 is a receptor protein involved in the absorption of glucose, or sugar, in the bloodstream and across membranes in the body. Physiologically, GLUT1 is not traceable in the ovaries. However, in patients diagnosed with ovarian cancer, use of immunohistochemical methods revealed the presence of this gluclose receptor, which tends to be intensely expressed in the most aggressive cases.
The study, titled, “GLUT1 receptor expression and circulating levels of fasting glucose in high grade serous ovarian cancer,” appeared recently in the journal entitled Journal of Cell Physiology, an international, peer reviewed journal focused on cancer-related issues. The authors belong to a multidisciplinary Italian-American team, which has long collaborated with Prof. Antonio Giordano, Director of the Sbarro Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine at Temple University in Philadelphia.
“Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death among gynecological cancers. Despite remarkable achievements in terms of diagnoses and therapeutics, patient outcomes in terms of survival rates have remained largely unchanged. This is largely due to our limited understanding of the underlying mechanisms and pathways,” says Dr. Maddalena Barba, researcher at the IRCCS Regina Elena National Cancer Institute of Rome, Central Italy.
“This study revealed a higher expression of the glucose transporter 1 in cancer samples of patients with lower glucose levels in non-diabetic women. These findings provide evidence in support of our prior results from this same study population. Indeed, we have recently observed an association between cancer stage at diagnosis and circulating levels of fasting glucose,” explains Dr. Vici, clinical researcher at the division of Medical Oncology 2 of the IRCCS Regina Elena National Cancer Institute.
Read the full article: “Unexpected Presence of Glucose Receptor in Ovarian Cancer Links to Metabolism“