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Tumor Metabolic Heterogeneity

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It is well known that tumor cells reprogram their metabolic activities to promote cancer progression. It is also known that tumors consist of multiple, heterogeneous, and flexible populations of cells. The heterogeneity with respect to the genome has been well studied, while the understanding of the varied profile of tumor metabolism is limited. This metabolic heterogeneity is not mediated strictly by genetic factors, and results from a variety of environmental factors including varied access to nutrients and relationships between tumor cells and their stromal and immune cell neighbors. Using state-of-the-art metabolomics technology and innovative computational biology, we seek to understand the differences in metabolic profile between tumors and within distinct regions of solid tumors. Advances in this field will shed light on the metabolic changes implicated in tumor development and progression. This perspective will create new tools for translational oncology and expose novel vulnerabilities as candidates for targeted therapeutic intervention.